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The Problems with PSCs

Aram Mazmanian of Censeo Consulting Group writes about the difficulties in tracking exactly what the federal government buys, particularly because of the somewhat inexact nature of Product Services Codes (PSCs). Mazmanian notes that PSCs are often out of date, don’t properly describe the item that’s purchased, and lack compatibility with systems outside of government. He argues that the White House’s category management initiative offers an opportunity to rethink the government’s use of PSCs, and offers several recommendations for how agencies can better use PSCs to collect more useful data.

Three Changes Coming to Acquisition in Early 2017

Jason Miller of Federal News Radio reports on three acquisition changes taking effect in 2017. He highlights a provision of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that orders the Small Business Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to come up with a common definition of service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. He also notes the final rule, reported recently in the Newswire, that requires contractors to notify the government if they’ve delayed payments to a subcontractor. And he picks out another final rule recently reported on here, requiring contractors to train employees on handling sensitive personal information.

DoD Extends Comments on Controversial Rule

The Department of Defense (DoD) has extended comments on a proposed an amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to ensure that when evaluating bid prices in competitive source selections, any substantial future independent research and development expenses that are used to reduce prices are evaluated uniformly. The comment period has been extended to February 2, 2017. The rule implements guidance from the Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative, but has been opposed by industry.

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