The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has issued a final Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule that will reduce unnecessary burdens on contractors and small businesses and potentially save millions of dollars for the American taxpayer. The rule will publish in the Federal Register on June 23, 2016 and will be implemented through a pilot program across GSA contract vehicles.
After careful review of the public comments and additional deliberation with Government stakeholders, GSA has modified the proposed rule to authorize in the final rule the phased elimination of both the CSP and the PRC tracking customer provision, as opposed to just the PRC’s tracking requirements, as the proposed rule would have provided. Phase-out of these requirements will be subject to the results of a pilot, as was discussed in the preamble to the proposed rule. However, the pilot has been broadened to be more reflective of the varied goods and services offered and sold through the Schedules program, and will allow GSA to more effectively evaluate the likely impact of the intended transformation before making any final determinations.
As one of the most transformational changes to GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules Program in more than two decades, the TDR rule allows GSA to remove some of the complex and burdensome tracking and disclosure requirements imposed on federal contractors — the Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) disclosures and Price Reductions Clause (PRC) basis of award tracking requirement. GSA estimates that the collection of transactional-level procurement data, combined with the elimination of the CSP and PRC tracking requirement, will result in an estimated net burden reduction of $29 million a year across the Schedules Program and its other government-wide vehicles.
Simultaneously, this rule asks contractors to electronically report key procurement data; including prices paid, quantity, standard part number and product description for all purchases through GSA contract vehicles. The information collected through the TDR will help contracting officers make smarter purchasing decisions and provide data to assist in negotiating future contracts.
This rule also supports the government’s shift towards category management by centrally collecting and analyzing information on what federal agencies are buying and how much they are paying. This new transparency helps the government leverage its vast buying power and drives competition. Moreover, the rule builds on already-established best practices across the government, including GSA’s governmentwide strategically-sourced contract for office supplies that generated $370 million in savings when it applied this practice. Adding transparency drives better outcomes, greater competition, and will help reduce price variability, which has been known to run 300 percent or more, from one company to another, for the exact same item.
The transactional data reporting requirement will be applied to any new GSA government-wide acquisition contract, where transactional data is not already collected through other methods. For GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules, the requirement will be introduced in phases, beginning with a pilot for select products and services. The pilot Schedules and Special Item Numbers (SINs) to be implemented in a phased rollout approach are: