NOPA Calls Upon San Diego County and Local Governments to Adopt Multiple-Award Office Products Procurement Strategy15 Sep, 2010
NOPA Calls Upon San Diego County and Local Governments to Adopt Multiple-Award Office Products Procurement Strategy
ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 13, 2010) - The National Office Products Alliance (NOPA) today called upon the County of San Diego, CA and local governments around the country to shift from single-source, multi-year purchasing of office products to a multiple-award contracting approach. In addition, procurement agencies’ requests for proposals (RFPs) should be structured to be inclusive of small local independent office products dealers and dealer consortia (“teaming arrangements”) – not just the large Big Box companies in the industry.
“These proposed steps will ensure ongoing competition among qualified top bidders and consistent delivery of best value to all government customers,” according to NOPA President Chris Bates.
The NOPA statement was triggered by San Diego County’s responses this week to questions regarding its current RFP (No. 4708) for office and school supplies and multi-purpose paper products. Of critical concern, this RFP specifically excludes consideration of bids from firms with under $25 million in annual sales and requires each bidder to provide customer references for three contracts individually valued at over $5 million.
“This RFP approach discriminates against small businesses in California and throughout the country,” said Bates. “NOPA would be pleased to work with state and local governments and major purchasing alliances to help them develop size-neutral model RFPs for office products that would help mitigate this problem,” he added.
“Given our Nation’s major economic struggles, San Diego’s exclusion of small business participation in this procurement process is incomprehensible. The anticipated single-award contract will harm small businesses throughout our industry,” Bates noted.
The current office and school supplies/paper contract is utilized by more than 700 public agencies in San Diego and other parts of the country. The contract has an annual value of approximately $50 million. Local and state government agencies and many educational institutions ‘piggy back’ on the San Diego contract, which is made available to them by the National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Company (National IPA).
The National Office Products Alliance (NOPA) is the trade Association for independent office products dealers and their trading partners. Information on NOPA is available at www.nopanet.org or by calling (800) 542-6672.