Reed Smith attended last Friday’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) public meeting on the proposed Transactional Data Reporting rule. GSA’s proposed rule would eliminate the Price Reduction Clause (PRC) in favor of transactional data reporting. We previously blogged about the parameters of the proposed rule here. GSA held this meeting in the hopes of opening dialogue on this significant change in policy.
Throughout the meeting, GSA faced skepticism from interested members of the public, as well as from the GSA’s Office of the Inspector General (“GSA OIG”) and Veteran Affair’s Office of the Inspector General (“VA OIG”). Interested members of the public voiced privacy concerns regarding the potentially sensitive commercial data GSA would collect through the proposed rule, and the interplay with the Freedom of Information Act. Questions linger as to the details of data collection and who will have access to such data, with GSA noting that this will require further consideration. Interested members of the public also noted the practical and logistical difficulties in meeting the reporting burdens, leaving some commentators to believe that GSA had significantly underestimated such burdens. GSA also faced criticism from intergovernmental entities. GSA OIG and VA OIG both cited concerns that the new proposed rule would strip the government from pricing protections afforded to it by the PRC.
Anne Rung, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, was notably in attendance and gave comments reflecting her vision for federal procurement: simplicity and collaboration supported by a newly trained team of acquisition specialists using industry best practices. Rung does not believe that GSA’s proposed rule deviates from the focus on best value. Kevin Youel Page, Federal Acquisition Service Deputy Commissioner, echoed Rung, noting that this rule is not just meant to seek the lowest price possible, a concern that some have voiced.