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GSA, Industry Meet about Controversial Transactional Data Rule

Reporting for the Federal Times, Carten Cordell writes that a General Services Administration (GSA) roundtable meant to “calm” industry anxieties about the agency’s transactional data rule revealed industry and government remain far apart on the rule. Cordell offered three takeaways from the meeting: 1) Industry fears the data rule may push government buyers to lowest-price vendors, rather than best-value; 2) Centralizing procurement may stifle innovation; and 3) GSA has to ensure it’s using the data correctly in the pilot program.

The Pitfalls of Procurement Innovation

Michael Fischetti, executive director of the National Contract Management Association, writes about the push and pull of innovation, particularly in public procurement. Fischetti notes that while many will call for innovation, there is often little support for the inevitable failures of testing out a new approach. “So what’s the contracting officer or program manager to do? Everyone wants innovation in acquisition, but not really? Take risks, but make sure everything works out well? Leadership has your back, as long as [insert favorite oversight authority or trade association here] is supportive,” he writes. “Buy more commercial, but make sure [insert favorite administration, agency, industry priority, or compliance and socioeconomic statutory and regulatory requirements here] is adhered to and included.”

Hail to the Contracting Officer in Chief

An article by attorneys for Pepper Hamilton, LLP, looks at President Donald Trump’s approach to the F-35 program, in which a series of tweets seemed to have caused shockwaves among defense acquisition professionals and suppliers. But the paper argues that while the president may have some influence, decisions are, in the end, governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and tweets are not enough to conduct a full market research effort.

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