The General Services Administration is publishing a final rule on June 23 for what it's calling the "most transformational changes to GSA's Federal Supply Schedules Program in more than two decades."

The Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule requires federal contractors to report data on individual task orders and purchases made on GSA schedules, including part numbers, quantities and prices paid. While this seems like an additional requirement for vendors, the new process will eliminate some older reporting requirements and is intended to streamline the process.

GSA procurement officials expect the new process will save millions a year in processing overhead, namely by eliminating commercial sales practices disclosures and the Price Reductions Clause.

"GSA estimates that the rule's removal of current burdensome requirements will result in an estimated annual burden reduction of $29 million for vendors participating in Transactional Data Reporting," according to Jeffrey Koses, GSA senior procurement executive. "The rule takes cost out of a cumbersome, duplicative federal contracting world and puts money in agencies' hands so they can execute the best procurement possible to meet their missions."

For agencies, the new rule will give contracting officers a better view of how much their program and others throughout government are paying for specific goods and services and "thereby identify the most efficient solutions, channels and sources to meet its mission critical needs," according to an advanced copy of the final rule.

"Collecting and sharing transactional data is essential in order for GSA to provide information that federal buyers need to conduct meaningful analysis and successful negotiations on behalf of the taxpayers," said FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe. "This rule improves GSA's ability to reduce costs and duplication in the federal marketplace as well as provide the federal acquisition workforce with actionable data that will help them make smarter decisions on behalf of taxpayers."

Over time, the new rule will be extended to all GSA schedules, though the initial pilot will roll out along eight product areas (schedules and special item numbers):

  • Schedule 58 I: All SINs – Professional audio/video, telemetry/tracking, recording/reproducing and signal data solutions.
  • Schedule 72: All SINs – Furnishing and floor coverings.
  • Schedule 03FAC: All SINs – Facilities maintenance and management.
  • Schedule 51 V: All SINs – Hardware superstore.
  • Schedule 75: All SINs – Office products.
  • Schedule 73: All SINs – Food service, hospitality, cleaning equipment and supplies, chemicals and services.
  • Schedule 00CORP: The Professional Services Schedule – SINs 871-1, 2, 3 ,4, 5, 6 and 7 (professional engineering services).
  • Schedule 70: General purpose IT equipment, software and services – SINs 132-8 (hardware), 132-32, 33 and 34 (software), and 132-54 and 55 (COMSATCOM).

Any new schedules or SINs established after June 23 will also be required to adopt the rule on launch.

The rule fits into the administration's broader category management initiative, which, among other things, looks to add more transparency to the federal procurement process.

"This is an important step forward for the administration's successful category management initiative," U.S. Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung said. "For the first time, the federal government will be able to access critical procurement information — like prices paid by government customers for a wide variety of commonly acquired products — to potentially drive hundreds of millions of dollars in savings."