Several big changes are underway at GSA, as the agency tries to modernize and improve its schedules program:
Category Management & the Common Acquisition Platform
In an attempt to increase efficiency, reduce costs and eliminate redundancies, the federal marketplace will be divided into ten broad categories of commonly purchased items, called ‘Hallways’:
1) Information Technology; 2) Professional Services; 3) Security and Protection; 4) Facilities and Construction; 5) Industrial Products and Services; 6) Office Management; 7) Transportation and Logistics Services; 8) Travel and Lodging; 9) Human Capital; 10) Medical
Each category will be led by a team of experts who will develop a common, government-wide strategy for smarter buying. An online portal called the Common Acquisition Platform will put all acquisition categories in one place for easier navigation.
Competitive Pricing Initiative
By the end of the year GSA expects to have contacted about 2,000 schedule holders whose prices are noticeably different from other companies offering the same or similar products or services, in order to determine if prices should be reduced, or if the company offers an added value (better delivery, warranty, terms, accessories) which could justify the higher prices.
Transactional Pricing Data
A proposed rule would require vendors to electronically report the price the federal government paid for an item or service bought through GSA acquisition vehicles. GSA wants to be able to use this information to make cost-effective acquisition decisions and save money.
If the proposed rule becomes final, GSA would begin the program immediately on all newly awarded government-wide and multi-agency contracts.
For the GSA Schedules program, the agency would introduce the reporting requirement in phases, beginning with a pilot of select products and services.