National Association of Government Contractors


GSA to Adopt Policies Reflecting Trump Priorities

The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced plans to begin turning President Donald Trump's contracting priorities into policy over the next several months.

Jack St. John, GSA's chief of staff, outlined a few of these priorities at a recent government procurement function held in Virginia.

"We are in the process of making changes, one of which is switching the [Transactional Data Reporting] requirement from a mandatory to a voluntary process. We're going to reexamine the burdens and benefits of TDR," he said.

GSA released the final data transaction reporting rule June 23, 2016, creating a requirement for government contractors to submit information about transactions through the schedule contracts and those governmentwide acquisition contracts run by the agency.

GSA said transactional data refers to the information generated when the government purchases goods or services from a vendor. It includes specific details such as descriptions, part numbers, quantities and prices paid for the items purchased.

But TDR came under fire from vendors who said that the new requirements simply shifted the burden in requirements, rather than alleviating them.

St. John said the changes to TDR stem from the Trump administration's desire to relieve the regulatory contract burden on vendors.

Likewise, St. John said efforts are underway to reduce the burden of making solicitations under the Professional Services Schedule.

"Over time, and with good intent, the current [Professional Services Schedule] solicitation has grown to 167 pages, with 17 sections and more than a dozen appendices and templates. The sheer volume and complexity of the solicitation requires refreshment and streamlining," he said.

In addition to announcing measures aimed at simplifying processes, St. John said the GSA is developing a final strategy to reopen Schedule 75.

Schedule 75 is a GSA contract vehicle that allows federal agencies to purchase office supplies. It was closed down in 2010 in favor of blanket purchasing agreements with 15 companies, but last year, GSA announced that it was considering reopening the schedule.

St. John said that GSA made the decision to do so in order to expand its existing contractor pool, especially small businesses that were frozen out when the schedule closed.

"GSA's duty is and always will be to support our federal clients while keeping our commitment to the American taxpayer," he said. "In the past though, some have viewed this commitment on the one hand, and the health of the supplier community on the other, as mutually exclusive."

"Let me put it as bluntly and succinctly as possible," he continued. "The Trump administration does not share this view."



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