WASHINGTON D.C. – This week, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, called on the General Services Administration (GSA) to postpone implementing a policy that could have a detrimental impact on many small businesses until a study evaluating the proposal could be completed.

Five months after a bipartisan group of members requested that the GSA halt plans to eliminate some small business contracts, the GSA is preparing to drop office supplies from its Global Supply Stock Program. Currently, nearly 80 percent of government office supply purchases through this program are directed to small businesses.

“Eliminating contracts that small businesses successfully competed to win, without a full understanding of the negative impacts, is unacceptable,” said Senator Kerry. “Despite a bipartisan effort to fix this situation, the Bush Administration appears determined to cut small businesses out of the picture.”

“It is crucial that we fully understand how the GSA’s removal of office supplies from the Stock Program will impact small businesses,” said Senator Snowe. “Currently, 80 percent of the Stock Program’s office supply procurements are directed to small businesses suppliers. I am concerned that the elimination of these contracts could have a detrimental impact on our nation’s small enterprises. Every avenue must be explored to ensure that small businesses are not faced with further barriers in accessing government contracts.”

Senators Kerry and Snowe also asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the consequences given that the Stock Program’s office products create a vital and readily accessible resource to all government agencies for their various supply needs in times of emergency. In July, Senators Kerry and Snowe were joined by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee, Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) in urging the GSA to re-evaluate their proposal.

To read the letter that Senators Kerry and Snowe sent to the GSA, please click here.

To read the letter that Senators Kerry and Snowe sent to the GAO, please click here.