Merrimack, NH-based computer reseller PC Connection suffered a decline in government sales during the past year, but not because of the Iraq war: The government had cancelled the General Services Administration (GSA) contract of the cataloger’s GovConnection unit in November 2003.
According to a statement from PC Connection, the government found that “GovConnection’s contract management systems and procedures may have resulted in the sale of unqualified items or the underpayment of required fees.” To be listed on a schedule, a vendor has to prove that it is giving the government its best price on the merchandise it wishes to sell the feds.
Second-quarter government sales alone tumbled 16%, to $63 million for the quarter ended June 30, compared with $75 million for the same three months of 2003.
PC Connection was granted a new GSA contract on Aug. 18, however. “We we are in the process of ramping [our federal government] business back up,” says the cataloger’s chief financial officer, Mark Gavin. “It’s going to take some time for us to get it back to where it was.”
SmartPay Expenditures Continue to Rise
SmartPay, the government-issued credit card, was implemented to facilitate governmental purchases of less than $2,500 — the amount that does not require government buyers to purchase from a vendor on a General Services Administration (GSA) schedule. During the past fiscal year, the amount spent via SmartPay rose abut 7%, but the number of cardholders declined more than 12%.
|Fiscal year||# of transactions||# of cardholders||Total $ spent via SmartPay|
|* estimate based on sales to date this year Source: Amtower & Co.|