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Published Sep 13, 21
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The proposed rule could indicate that small companies would require to have one employee spend three months a year simply entering data. Keep in mind, this is information the government currently has however does not collect centrally. While I am all in favor of producing tasks, I do not think forcing small companies to hire employees to provide information a 2nd time is a rewarding use of their dollars or tax dollars, since someone has actually got to pay for this.

Data is not free. Services will choose it is better to sell separately of GSA, which will improve the federal government's cost to buy, or the small services will leave of the federal market altogether, reducing competitors. In fact, we have actually already lost over 100 little professionals in the past 2 years.

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about the effects of GSA's proposed guideline and any alternative they would recommend to improve how the government purchases whatever it buys. I now yield to the ranking member for his opening declaration. Mr. TAKAI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and great morning.

The GSA schedules have a variety of advantages for both suppliers and purchasing companies. Most notably, it creates a simpler system that enables contracting officers direct access to the services and products of numerous firms without the requirement of issuing several solicitations for each requirement. For small companies with restricted resources, relative inexperience browsing the procurement process, landing on a GSA schedule can be a crucial very first action towards securing the federal government as a client.

The guideline needs that companies that hold schedule contracts while other government-wide acquisition agreements report transactional data through an electronic system. While it appears that much of this information is already offered to the GSA, the brand-new rule increases the frequency of reporting and broadens what details firms are required to provide. GSA SER.

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With that, I thank the witnesses for testifying today, and I yield back. Chairman HANNA. Thank you.

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What the guideline requires is month-to-month reports from a range of GSA specialists. This consists of both the schedule contractors, along with those who hold IDIQ, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contractors, and what we call GWACs, Government-wide Acquisition Agreements, to prepare these month-to-month reports of all federal sales made throughout the prior month.

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For those specialists who participate in the pilot program, they will be alleviated from a burden, what we call the cost decreases clause, which is another compliance provision that remains in GSA agreements. In the general public meeting that GSA hung on April 17th, I went to essentially. My perception of that conference is that everyone in the space had issues about the guideline, consisting of GSA's own inspector general.

The proposed rule raises a range of concerns (GSA SER Software). The first, which I am sure you will hear from all our panel members about, is the cost of implementation and compliance.

I would recommend that for some specialists, it will take six hours for them to determine which of their IT systems hold the numerous data elements that GSA has actually required for this guideline. That does not permit any time for developing a report, making sure that the report is precise, and training its personnel on how they will submit that report on a regular monthly basis.

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This might not possibly permit whenever for the contractors to really examine the reports to guarantee that the data is right. There is absolutely nothing in the proposed rule that suggests what would happen if the professionals send inaccurate information or if they merely get rid of information since it is clearly inaccurate.

The second bothersome location is the prospective expansion of what we call commercial sales practice requirements. GSA specialists are required to send industrial sales practices prior to contract award and during agreement performance when particular things take place, like if they go to add items to a professional's increased rates. The proposed guideline enables GSA to request CSPs at any time (GSA SER).

This requires specialists to go into their information systems and look at actual discounts on deals. I mean, we see news release after news release from the Department of Justice mentioning that specialists have fraudulently provided this details when in truth they just have actually not checked. This is a big concern.

We understand it is going to cost a lot to gather the information, however what is not clear is what benefit GSA is going to receive from the details. And after that lastly, is the private and proprietary nature of the details. Transactional information rates has constantly been protected by the courts under FOIA, and GSA does not appear to appreciate based upon comments made at the conference that this holds true.

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GSA recognizes the extra reporting requirement will undoubtedly have a cost for afflicted services. SBA's Office of Advocacy and GSA's own inspector basic noted that quotes in the proposed guideline appear drastically downplayed.

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Intricacy, on the other hand, measures if a policy change will make selling to the government harder or easier. Basically, will the federal market be more or less hard to comprehend? Or as I frequently hear from entrepreneur, am I going to need to hire somebody for this? While GSA contents its reporting service will be user- friendly, our experience is that federal government information systems are anything but - GSA SER.

Typically, however, small companies offer customized and ingenious solutions that in conjunction with competitive pricing make for finest worth in procurement rather of most affordable cost. While GSA suggests that rates will just be one aspect in identifying best worth, it provides significant weight. The words "price" or "prices" appear 165 times in the guideline, while "finest worth" just appears 7.

This resembles asking merchants offering on Amazon to report to Amazon what it sold on Amazon. This appears to be an inefficient method to collect information. Finally, and speaking to the chauffeur behind this regulation, we continue to be worried about a vision of government procurement that seeks to categorize personalized services into narrow categories.

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Thank you, Mr. Stanford. Next, we have Mr. Roger Waldron, who is president of the Union of Federal Government Procurement. We can break now however I believe we do have time to get through.

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