In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Office of Acquisition Policy published a November 18th notice requesting public comments regarding the paperwork burdens of GSAR Clause 552.238-75, Price Reductions, commonly referred to as the Price Reductions Clause (PRC). The Coalition is asking members to please review this notice and provide feedback on the practical utility of PRC compliance and Commercial Sales Practice disclosures, GSA’s estimates of the burden for contractors of collecting this information, and what drives price reductions off the Schedules price for your Federal customers (e.g. the PRC, competition, market changes, etc.). Please send your submissions to Aubrey Woolley by COB Jan. 12th.
At its core, GSA is requesting an extension of the information collection requirements as set forth in the PRC. However, the requested extension has been expanded and renamed “Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures.” Significantly, the notice not only includes burden estimates for the PRC. For the first time it also includes burden estimates for the Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) disclosures—the information that is used to establish and maintain Federal Supply Schedule pricing and price related terms and conditions.
The Coalition applauds GSA’s acknowledgement and inclusion of CSP burdens in the notice. It is a transparent step forward in the dialogue around pricing and data disclosure. It is important to note that GSA credited comments received in response to the proposed Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) rule as spurring it to include the CSP burden in the current notice. As you will recall, as part of the TDR notice, GSA noted that it in addition to transactional data reporting (e.g. task order reporting) it would maintain the right to ask for updated CSP at any time throughout the life of the contract. In response to this statement the Coalition, among others, provided comments to GSA indicating the significant burdens associated with this statement and the CSP. We are gratified to see GSA acknowledging this burden in the current “Federal Supply Schedule Pricing Disclosures” notice (hereinafter the Pricing Disclosures notice).
The Pricing Disclosures notice also include three other significant changes. First, the notice actually included a total estimated cost burden for the PRC and the CSP. In the past, the burden was stated in terms of an average and a total number of burden hours. Second, the cost burdens are assessed for two categories of contractors: (1) Heavier lift contractors; and (2) Lighter lift contractors. Heavier lift contractors are those with higher sales volume under the contract which, in GSA’s view, likely results in a greater burden. Third, the notice sets forth the burden in several cost categories for the heavy lift and lighter lift contractors. These categories include training, compliance systems, OIG audits, price reduction notifications, pre-award disclosures, price increase modifications, adding items and SINs, and exercising options.
In seeking public comments GSA stated the following:
“Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the pubic burden of this collection is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.”
As Coalition members will recall, the last public notice seeking comments on the PRC burden was published in 2012. At that time the Coalition conducted a survey of our members regarding the PRC burdens which formed the basis for our response to GSA. In turn, GSA specifically cited our comments in subsequently increasing the burden hours associated with the PRC. Please review our 2012 comments and GSA’s subsequent notice increasing the burden.
Coalition members, we need your support on this central issue once again. We are seeking your comments and feedback on the Pricing Disclosures notice and the specific areas cited above where GSA is seeking public comment. In particular, please provide us with your analysis regarding price drivers. What drives price reductions? Is it competition? Market changes? Sales goals? The PRC?
Please provide your feedback to Aubrey Woolley by Tuesday, Jan 12th.