The GSA recently proposed a new rule that could potentially mean some major changes for a group of GSA Schedule Contractors and is now asking for further comment. In an effort to create greater transparency and share valuable pricing information from agency to agency, the rule would require contractors to report all of the prices of their services and products sold through the Multiple Award Schedule program. Acceptance of this rule and subsequent reporting of the transactional data will mean that contractors will no longer have to comply with the tracking and pricing requirements associated with the Price Reduction Clause 552.238-75, which can often lead to issues regarding pricing that is later discovered during GSA audits. This new system would prevent contractors from facing penalties from price violations post-award of their GSA Schedule contract.
On the flip side, this new rule will likely result in the overall lowering of pricing for contractors during their contract negotiations with other agencies in situations where the pricing a contractor is offering one agency may be higher than they previously offered to another. The purpose of this new rule, according to the GSA, would be to help standardize the pricing for the same products/services across the entire federal government. The government has realized the lack of communication between the ordering agencies can lead to some agencies paying much more for the same product/service than the another ordering agency does from the same contractor. Ultimately, though, this may simply have the impact of limiting a contractor’s ability to give spot discounts when pricing to individual ordering agencies through a GSA Schedule for fear of having to provide that price across the board to all customers regardless of the circumstances. Lastly, it also seems to make more sense for product Schedules versus the more complicated services Schedules in terms of comparing “like” purchases.
GSA has preliminarily identified the following Schedules to be part of the pilot program:
- Schedule 51V – Hardware Superstore
- Schedule 58 I – Professional Audio/Video Telemetry/Tracking, Recording/Reproducing and Signal Data solutions
- Schedule 72 – Furnishings and Floor Coverings
- Schedule 73 – Food Service, Hospitality, Cleaning Equipment and Supplies, Chemicals and Services
- Schedule 75 – Office Products/Supplies and Services and New Products/Technology
GSA is currently accepting comments from contractors regarding this potential rule. Here’s what they say:
We need your input. Answers to the following questions would provide tremendous value as we plan to implement the pilot:
- We believe utilizing the mass mod process already in place will be the fastest and easiest method of implementing the new clause, but what do you think?
- We currently anticipate industry partners needing approximately 6 months after receipt and acceptance of the mass mod to transition from quarterly IFF reporting to quarterly IFF reporting and monthly transactional data reporting. Is 6 months a sufficient amount of time to implement transactional data reporting into your business operations? If not, please provide further explanation.
- Generally, contractors have 30 days to review and accept mass modifications. Are there reasons why you would need more time? If so, what are they?
We would appreciate any other comments or input regarding the implementation process.
Please submit all comments directly through Regulations.gov at www.regulations.gov and include GSAR CASE 2013-G504 in your comment. Only comments submitted through regulations.gov will receive a formal response. Comments submitted on the Interact page will be reviewed but may not receive a formal response
Make sure to get your comments into GSA as soon as possible if you are a contractor to whom the rule may apply!