GSA’s Data Reporting Rule Aims to Improve Contract Purchasing

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The General Services Administration (GSA) is aiming to increase clarity and efficiency of purchases made through its contract vehicle through the formalization of the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule, which asks contractors to electronically report key procurement data.

“TDR offers great value to the American taxpayer,” wrote Federal Acquisition Service commissioner Tom Sharpe. “Through this process, we are able to collect transactional-level data on purchases made through a GSA contract vehicle–invaluable information that not only helps us craft smarter buying strategies, but allows agencies to make smarter purchasing decisions, enhances competition, and gives the Federal government intelligence around buying patterns.”

The TDR rule was originally announced in June for a pilot program across GSA contract vehicles.

Though comments on the original pilot expressed concern over the reporting burden imposed by the TDR rule, Sharpe responded that this burden “pales in comparison” to the Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) and Price Reduction Clause (PRC) reporting requirements, which are currently required of contractors and would be eliminated through the TDR rule.

“By accepting TDR, contractors no longer have to report CSP disclosures or comply with the hefty PRC requirement,” Sharpe said. “During our TDR pilot program, this equals an annual net burden reduction of $29 million. Even better, these reporting requirements are eliminated prior to award, translating into burden and cost reductions for companies even before winning business off GSA Schedules.”

The data collected through this rule will be used by category managers to inform better buying strategies through the contract vehicles.

“In the future, we see foresee that GSA’s contracting officers (COs) will gain access to sets of data to evaluate and negotiate schedule contracts in accordance with policies to ensure that MAS continues to focus on value, not low price, at the contract level,” Sharpe said. “Down the road, ordering activity COs will be able to consider the data analytics and pricing trends when placing orders.”

The rule’s reporting requirements will apply to any new GSA governmentwide acquisition contract, unless transactional data is already collected through other methods.

“I know that change isn’t always easy, but as the stewards of more than $50 billion, GSA FAS must make the decisions necessary to obtain the best solutions for the American taxpayer–and putting TDR in action is one of those. I look forward to remaining in close communication and cooperation with our industry partners, and to sharing our progress as we move forward with the Transactional Data Reporting rule,” said Sharpe.

Jessie Bur
About Jessie Bur
Jessie Bur is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Cybersecurity, FedRAMP, GSA, Congress, Treasury, DOJ, NIST and Cloud Computing.
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