GSA Seeks to Capture Transactional Data to Obtain Savings for Federal Agencies, Taxpayers
March 4, 2015
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a proposed rule to capture transactional data on procurements across all of its government-wide acquisition vehicles. The proposed Transactional Data Reporting Rule would require vendors to electronically report the price the federal government paid for an item or service bought through GSA acquisition vehicles, producing market intelligence that GSA and its partner agencies can use to make cost-effective acquisition decisions and save even more taxpayer dollars. GSA would more than offset this new reporting requirement with the removal of a more burdensome reporting requirement.
Since 2010, GSA has used transactional data to help save $370 million dollars on office supplies purchased through the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. However, the current lack of transparency on prices paid by federal buyers in other categories of government spend has led to significant price variation, sometimes 300 percent or more, for identical purchases from the same commercial vendor, as well as the unnecessary duplication of contract vehicles. The proposed rule would help eliminate this variation and duplication and serve as a better means to obtain best value for agencies and taxpayers.
From Tom Sharpe, GSA’s Federal Acquisition Services Commissioner:
“Collecting and sharing transactional data is an essential step toward getting the information that federal buyers need to conduct meaningful analysis and successful negotiations on behalf of taxpayers. Implementation of this proposed rule would improve GSA’s ability to provide federal buyers with data that will help them make smarter decisions on behalf of taxpayers and get prices that are more reflective of the government’s purchase volume.”
If the proposed rule becomes final, GSA would begin collecting transactional data immediately on all newly awarded government-wide acquisition contracts and multi-agency contracts. For the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, GSA would introduce the transactional data reporting requirement in phases, beginning with a pilot of select products and commoditized services. As a part of this pilot, GSA would remove burdensome tracking and reporting requirements from the price reduction clause to evaluate the impact of providing such relief on a more permanent basis.
From Jeffrey Koses, GSA’s Senior Procurement Executive:
“GSA estimates that the proposed rule could reduce burden on contractors by 85 percent, $51 million annually, and over 757,000 hours when compared to the burden associated with the tracking and reporting requirements of the price reduction clause in its current form. In addition, the proposed rule would provide federal contractors, especially small businesses, with more market intelligence. This would make it easier for them to see where they stand in the federal marketplace.”
The proposed rule follows the Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s (OFPP) announcement that federal acquisition will be streamlined through Category Management. Category Management is a process used by Fortune 500 companies to better meet customer needs, and market demands, by categorizing products and services and customizing purchase channels. OFPP and GSA believe the proposed rule -- combined with benefits of Category Management -- would significantly improve purchasing across the government.
From Anne Rung, OMB’s Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy:
“This proposed rule helps to build the foundation of moving federal acquisition from managing purchasing and pricing individually across thousands of procurement units to managing entire categories of common spend and total life cycle cost through category management.”
To submit a comment on the proposed rule, click here. The comment period ends May 4, 2015.