National Association of Government Contractors

GSA Numbers Show Decline in Research Spending

While many in the contracting community applaud the Trump administrations agenda to cut regulations as announced in one of his early executive orders, some lawmakers are questioning the process.

At the end of last month, the administration and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced the policy push had been yielding results: that federal agencies have withdrawn or weakened 860 proposed regulations that inhibited economic growth.

When examining rules that specifically impact contractors, for the most part eliminating or moving to "inactive" status (effectively eliminating them), the halting of regulations that had the potential to be onerous (example: more stringent conflict of interest rules) are seen as positive moves.

However, some regulatory initiatives that will be cut, or are in danger of being eliminated, include initiatives that would have created new small business set-asides for emerging research and development contracts.

Also, threatened is a GSA proposal that would have opened an opportunity on the GSA schedule for Direct Charges, or support services or minimal travel expenses linked to the provision of services that are otherwise not on the Schedule.

At this time many in the contracting community are taking a wait and see approach, and expecting wins and losses as the re-regulation process ramps up as OIRA aims for a 20% reduction in regulations at year's end compared to a year ago.

The means to achieve this, and the impact are still not widely known.

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