SIA Applauds House GSA Schedule 84 Bill
SIA announced its strong support for legislation introduced July 25 by Reps. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) to extend cooperative purchasing to GSA Schedule 84. The bill, titled “The Local Preparedness Acquisition Act,” will ensure local governments have the option of purchasing fire alarm systems, access control devices, perimeter security and video surveillance systems and other Homeland security products and services at GSA-approved reduced prices. More than 80 percent of companies on the GSA Schedules are small businesses.
“This bipartisan bill delivers significant cost-savings to state and local governments while opening up new market opportunities for thousands of small businesses nationwide,” says Don Erickson, director of Government Relations, The Security Industry Association. “We commend Chairman Towns and Ranking Member Bilbray for their leadership and commitment to efficient government procurement strategies. SIA will now work to ensure swift passage of this pro-taxpayer and pro-business legislation.”
The GSA Schedules are catalogues of more than four million commercial goods and services currently available to federal agencies. Schedule 84 provides a range of commercial products and services covering such areas as law enforcement, firefighting and security products and services. Cooperative Purchasing allows for the GSA Administrator to provide states and localities access to certain items offered through the GSA. Currently, State and local government entities can only purchase items from Schedule 70.
Expanding cooperative purchasing to Schedule 84 is the cornerstone of SIA’s 2007 legislative agenda. Erickson helped Towns’ staff formulate the bill’s language and will now work to secure additional support for this key industry initiative. At SIA’s Government Summit in June, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and GSA Administrator Lurita Doan both voiced their support for expanding cooperative purchasing. In addition, the National Association of Counties passed a resolution calling for greater access to the GSA Schedules Program.