The Government Purchase Card – Quick and Easy Access to Government Sales

By: PTAC Advisor James Chestnut

In a recent interaction with a client both of us determined that their product, trophies and plaques, was not conducive with Government contracting in general. In doing a deeper dive into their business we did make the discovery that they were getting some business from a local military base but on a piece meal basis. I explained that for most Government agencies this type of purchase is done utilizing the Government Purchase Card (GPC). So, we brainstormed how to target that market.

In order to work toward GPC sales, we need to understand the program overall. The first thing is that the GPC, while it may look and operate as a Credit Card it is not one in that it does not involve revolving credit. Just like any other Government purchase it is bound by the rules of the Anti-Deficiency Act. Before a buy can be made there must be adequate funds available to cover it. So, all sales are billed and paid in total. Also, the card should not to be used for recurring purchases such as cable subscriptions or phone bills. And most agencies have a limitation on how much the GPC may be used for IT purchases.

The second thing is that if the purchase is below $10,000, the Micro-Purchase Threshold, the card holder is probably not a Contracting Officer or even a Contract Specialist. This is where most GPC buys occur. Most Card Holders are not acquisition professionals but administrative personnel. The administrative assistants in many offices are the card holders and therefore the ones making the buying decisions. So, this is where we hit upon the idea of getting the client’s company in front of these individuals.

The goal in this case was not to go for the big award but to increase revenue by tapping into the micro-purchase/GPC arena. This would require a more focused and targeted strategy using old school methods with some 21st century tech thrown in.

The client is going to make concerted effort to identify the Headquarters and Major commands on the base. Once those are known they are going to do both direct mailing of flyers and emails to the Admins of those offices. Along with that the client is going to ensure that their web site is easy to use, and prices are readily accessible. Plus, they need to be proactive when queried for a quote. Just like any other Government purchase there must be competition even if it is simply getting three quotes. And they need to remember that award determination will be “Lowest Priced; Technically Acceptable”. So, price accordingly

FAR 13.301 “Governmentwide Commercial Purchase Card” https://www.acquisition.gov/content/13301-governmentwide-commercial-purchase-card

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