GSA Moves Into the Next Phase of Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) Rule Pilot Program

In May, GSA leadership announced the decision to make the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot program voluntary for contractors on the Multiple Award Schedules and/or Special Item Numbers (SINs) included in the pilot program.  The TDR rule, published in June 2016, enables GSA to collect transactional-level data on purchases made through a GSA contract vehicle. This data provides valuable information that not only helps us craft smarter buying strategies, but allows agencies to make smarter purchasing decisions, enhances competition and gives the federal government key intelligence around buying patterns.

This new GSA Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) rule also creates tremendous advantages for the vendor community, eliminating the cumbersome Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) and Price Reduction Clause (PRC) reporting requirements, reducing compliance burdens on contractors, particularly small businesses.

Agencies must be in compliance with ‘Buy America’ order by September

The Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Commerce released guidance on June 30 to instruct agencies how to enforce President Trump’s “Buy America” executive order.

The April 18 order required agencies to review and assess free trade agreements with foreign government contractors, closing loopholes in those agreements that might provide a competitive edge over domestic competition.

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Top 10 acquisition trends of FY17 [Commentary]

As the final push for fiscal 2017 contract obligations comes to an end, it’s helpful to take a step back and assess the contracting environmental trends that have emerged over the past year. Each trend lends itself to further study, so here’s a high-level look at the top 10.

1. Federal sector spending has bottomed out, with anticipated growth.

Following years of declining spending, it is beginning to appear like this decline has bottomed out, with a growth in federal spending on the horizon. While there is considerable talk, firm steps are in motion for increased contract spending, particularly in defense, with reduced civilian agency spending. Clearly, a reevaluation is occurring from the dramatic budget cuts proposed for many civilian agencies, while the Department of Defense will reap increases in the short term.

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716 regulations under review by DoD

The Defense Department has 15 different regulations for the Freedom of Information Act. It has 21 assorted rules for privacy.

This is a small sample of why the White House ordered agencies in February to reduce and reform regulations with a goal of getting rid of two for every new one they write.

DoD is taking on this huge task of getting rid of regulations, some of which go back to its War Department days, by reviewing 716 rules, including 350 of which are acquisition related.

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DOD SBIR 17.3 & STTR 17.C Broad Agency Announcements Pre-Release on August 25, 2017

The DOD SBIR 17.3 and the STTR 17.C Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) have been pre-released on the DOD SBIR/STTR Small Business Portal. You may now view the topics and ask technical questions through SITIS:

Important Dates

  1. SBIR 17.3 and STTR 17.C Pre-release: August 25, 2017
  2. SBIR 17.3 and STTR 17.C Open: September 26, 2017
  3. SITIS Q&A Close: October 11, 2017
  4. SBIR 17.3 and STTR 17.C Close: October 25, 2017

Semiannual Regulatory Agenda


Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


Semiannual regulatory agenda.


This agenda provides summary descriptions of regulations being developed by the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council in compliance with Executive Order 12866 “Regulatory Planning and Review.” This agenda is being published to allow interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process.

The Regulatory Secretariat Division has attempted to list all regulations pending at the time of publication, except for minor and routine or repetitive actions; however, unanticipated requirements may result in the issuance of regulations that are not included in this agenda. There is no legal significance to the omission of an item from this listing.

Published proposed rules may be reviewed in their entirety at the Government’s rulemaking Web site at

David Drabkin: Progress report on DoD procurement reform

Like a bad stretch of roadway, the defense procurement system vexes generation after generation of federal and contractor practitioners. Undaunted, the Section 809 Panel, named for the defense authorization act paragraph that chartered it, has been working hard at recommendations for comprehensive reform. Section 809 Panel Commissioner David Drabkin gives Federal Drive with Tom Temin a progress report.

Listen to the report:

‘Big challenge’ ahead for procurement, grants reporting under DATA Act

It took  federal agencies’ four years to go from introduction to implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, so what will it take to get 2,300 grant-making programs and 3,200 procurement offices to do the same?

The Office of Management and Budget recommends three steps to help expedite the process: continue to standardize data, use auto-populating technology, and use IT open standards for developing any new tools needed along the way.

The recommendations are part of OMB’s recent report on the DATA Act’s two-part Section 5 pilot, which covers federal grants and federal contracts. The grants pilot ended, but the procurement side will continue through February.

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OMB Steers Agency R&D Budgets Toward Security, ‘Energy Dominance’

Agencies preparing their fiscal 2019 research and development budgets should focus on national security and energy dominance while improving interagency coordination, according to Office of Management and Budget guidance.

An Aug. 17 memo to agency heads from Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Michael Kratsios, the deputy assistant to the president for science and technology policy, stressed curbing duplication and exploiting private-sector solutions.

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Oshkosh Mayor to Join Wisconsin Procurement Institute Board of Directors

The Wisconsin Procurement Institute is pleased to announce Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings has joined its Board of Directors.

Mr. Cummings is serving his second term as Mayor and is a lifelong resident of Oshkosh. His professional career includes 17 years of working for Mercury Marine as an advertising manager and director of marketing for the company. Mayor Cummings also owned an advertising company which included many areas businesses as his clients. He also serves on numerous local boards including the Oshkosh Zoological Society, the Winnebago County Historical and Archeological Society and the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Mayor Cummings replaces Mayor John Dickert of Racine who recently resigned to become President and CEO of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Initiative.

“We are pleased to have Mayor Cummings join the Board of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute.  He will bring a unique knowledge and expertise to the table which will support WPI’s work in developing strong and successful federal contractors in addition to bringing federal dollars to Wisconsin. ” said Bill Hughes, Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP, and WPI’s Board Chair.  “We appreciate Mayor Dickert’s 4 years on the board and wish him success in his new position. His contributions have made WPI a stronger organization.”

Mayor Cummings joins WPI Board Chair Bill Hughes and Board members, Jean Marie Thiel, Belonger Corporation; Jeff Van Straten, Bentley World Packaging; Rod Copes, Titus Technologies/Heale Manufacturing; Richard Deschauer, DRS Power & Control Technologies; Baly Ambegaoker, CENTERPOINT Inc.; Herb Miller, Michels Corporation; Travis Schmuhl, Oshkosh Corporation; Jane Glass, Spacesaver Corporation; Andrew Bergholz, TAPCO; Dr. Robert M. Meyer, UW-Stout; Barb LaMue, WEDC and Aina Vilumsons, WPI.

WPI is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to help Wisconsin businesses win federal contracts, especially defense contracts.  WPI staff and extensive network of partners provided technical and professional expertise to Wisconsin businesses.  WPI’s mission is to assist Wisconsin business in growing their federal, state and local government sales, profits and jobs.  WPI is headquartered at the Technology Innovation Center in Milwaukee with offices in Madison, Camp Douglas, Wausau and Appleton.