GSA Responds to Criticisms of TDR

The new pilot program for Transactional Data Reporting has met widespread criticism, leading many to question its supposed benefits.

GSA wrote the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) requirement as an alternative to the Price Reduction Clause (PRC) and Commercial Services Practices (CSP) provision, in response to contractor complaints. The CSP provision requires government contractors to inform GSA of any discounts they offer to commercial partners. Meanwhile, the PRC requires contractors to offer government clients discounts equal to those given to commercial customers, as determined by the contract itself.

Because vendors tend to loathe these clauses, the TDR requirement generated widespread enthusiasm before its June launch. However, since then, it has met with criticism from the contractor side and has included anecdotal evidence of contracting officers still requesting CSP, or CSP-esque information from contractors enrolled in the TDR pilot.

Kevin Youell Page, the deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisitions Service has publicly stated that “We haven’t really heard from anyone that this has specifically happened.” Most of the criticism appears based more on worries that COs could still require these, as well as general apprehension. Nonetheless, Youell Page is trying to answer feedback and reform the program. FAS has set up an email address exclusively for questions, comments, and concerns about the program; worked closely with the inspector general’s office to alleviate confusion; and continues a cross-country campaign to train and educate contractors and stakeholders.

This is a dramatic shift, made more  so by the risks associated with the new administration. GSA has only committed to a three-year pilot, and as yet the Trump administration has not moved to support TDR. This creates concerns about the liability of participating contractors for PRC and CSP data after the pilot ends.