Sending Office: Honorable Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
**Deadline to Sign on: COB Wednesday, May 16**
Current Co-Signers (21): Adams, Barragan,
Brooks (IN), Carson, Cleaver, Demings, Doyle, Hurd,
Johnson (GA), Messer, Moore, Raskin, Roe, Sessions, Smith (TX), Tenney,
Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Upton, Vela, Young (IA)
I am requesting you to join me in writing Administrator Emily Murphy, of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), to demonstrate your support for the AbilityOne Program. This program offers employment options and a path forward to personal and economic
independence for more than 45,000 Americans who are blind or have a significant disability.
In a positive development, Sec. 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed GSA to establish a program in partnership with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to allow federal agency buyers to procure commercial off-the-shelf
items through multiple commercial e-commerce portals.
This provision is laudable and streamlines federal acquisition. It is important however that, as GSA moves forward with development of this new system, it should consider all possible impacts to the AbilityOne Program and work to safeguard this vital program.
GSA has been a strong supporter of the mandatory purchase requirements of the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JWOD) Act, which authorized the AbilityOne Program, and I believe that it will take the right steps moving forward with its development. I simply ask you to
join me signing onto this letter intended to positively reinforce this principle with the GSA Administrator.
If you have any questions or would like to sign this letter to GSA Administrator Murphy, please contact Julian Johnson in Representative Sanford Bishop’s office at (202) 225-3631 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02)
Member of Congress
Dear Administrator Murphy:
We write today regarding the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)’s work to implement Sec. 846 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (Procurement Through Commercial E-Commerce Portals), and the importance of protecting the Javits-Wagner-O’Day
(JWOD) Act and federal agency purchasing of products through the AbilityOne Program.
The AbilityOne Program provides employment opportunities for over 45,000 Americans who are blind or have significant disabilities. The JWOD Act mandates that federal government entities obtain any products or services included on the AbilityOne Program Procurement
List (PL) from a nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other significant disabilities as long as that product or service is available within the normal period required by that government entity.
We applaud GSA for highlighting the AbilityOne Program as one of the “Unique Government requirements that advance key national interests…” in its March 2018 Implementation Plan. We strongly concur with that statement and support the AbilityOne Program
and the opportunities it affords people who are blind or significantly disabled to secure quality employment and enhance their opportunities for personal and economic independence.
As GSA moves forward with the next two phases of its work to implement Sec. 846, we strongly urge the agency to fully assess any possible impacts regarding the use of commercial e-Commerce portals on the AbilityOne Program and the SKILCRAFT and AbilityOne
products it currently sells to federal customers.
We support the use of commercial e-Commerce portals in order to streamline federal government acquisition, and believe this can be achieved while also strengthening socioeconomic programs such as AbilityOne that support the federal marketplace.
The federal government can modernize its purchasing practices while still fully complying with the JWOD Act, ensuring continued employment for tens of thousands of Americans who are blind or have significant disabilities.
We thank you, again, for GSA’s support for the AbilityOne Program.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0