Vendor Pushback Cannot Stop this Acquisition Regulation
The General Services Administration (GSA) is looking to expand the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) program to multiple new contract vehicles. In a recent memo, Jeff Koses, GSA’s senior procurement executive, described a class deviation which lets more vendors submit pricing data at the task order level, which TDR facilitates, on multi-agency and governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs). The deviation continues a trend away from negotiating contract level pricing based on commercial or other prices.
TDR was adopted in 2016 with the goal of eliminating the dual requirements of disclosure of commercial sales practices (CSP) and the Price Reduction Clause (PRC). CSP describe the nature of contractors’ non-government sales. The PRC requires contractors to provide price reductions offered in corresponding commercial sales to government customers under their schedule contracts. Contractors typically dislike the PRC due to its burdensome requirements and penalties for noncompliance including prospective False Claims Act violations.
TDR requires that contractors report transactional data to GSA from orders placed against their Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), GWACs, and government-wide indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts. Transactional data are reported monthly and include eleven items of transactional data such as a description of the deliverable, identifying manufacturing information, quantity sold, and unit and total price. The deviation expands the number of items that must be reported from eleven to thirty-three for multi-agency and GWAC cost type contracts and task orders.
The implementation of TDR, however, has not been well received among vendors or the GSA inspector general since its inception. In a recent report the IG stated “When performing price analyses on TDR pilot contracts, FAS [Federal Acquisition Service] contracting personnel do not have access to TDR data that can be used for pricing decisions and as a result, they mainly compared proposed pricing to other MAS [multiple award schedules] and government contracts. However, this approach does not provide customer agencies with assurance that FAS achieved pricing that reflects the offerors’ best pricing and will result in the lowest overall cost alternative to meet the government’s needs.”
Some experts believe GSA may not have correctly gauged the industry response before implementing the deviation. One source noted that the deviation requires that industry supply transactional data at no cost to the government but that there is always a cost to send data. In addition, use of TDR may not work well for comparison of services pricing because services are very requirements specific.
Despite the pushback, GSA has expanded TDR with the belief that it makes obtaining a GSA GWAC or multiple award contract (MAC) contract easier for companies.
For more information: One more step away from the acquisition regulation that most vendors hate