Insights by:
Jennifer Aubel

[URGENT ALERT] GSA Releasing Transactional Data Reporting Rule 6/23

On June 23rd, GSA will release its final rule regarding the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot program that could radically change how the government negotiates pricing on the GSA Schedules and orders thereunder. Under the pilot, certain Schedule holders will be required to provide monthly sales reports, including prices paid information, to serve as the […]

Supreme Court Upholds Implied Certification Theory for False Claims

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Universal Health Services v. Escobar that the implied certification theory is a valid basis for False Claims Act liability. Under this theory, a government contractor’s claim or invoice can be held as fraudulent if the contractor “fails to disclose non-compliance with material statutory, regulatory, or contractual […]

5 Tools for Securing Better Pricing On Your Next GSA Schedule Purchase

One of the most common criticisms of the GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program is that the pricing on schedule contracts just isn’t competitive. Whether justified or not, the perception of high pricing is pervasive. In fact, the Department of Defense issued a class deviation to the FAR obligating its contracting officers to make a […]

From the GSA Trenches: The “Trickle Down” Audit

When clients are notified they are being audited by the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG), their first question is often what they did wrong. In reality, being selected for an audit is frequently an indication that a company is doing something right – at least as far as sales volume is concerned. GSA’s OIG […]

Establishing GSA Order Pricing May Become More Complicated

As commercial item contracts, GSA Schedules are subject to streamlined acquisition procedures intended to make the procurement process more efficient. One of the biggest advantages the Schedules offer ordering agencies is pre-negotiated pricing that has already been determined to be fair and reasonable. Over the past several years, concern about pricing variability among the same or similar items on different […]

The Oversimplification Trap

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have no doubt heard the term big data, especially if you’re a GovLoop reader. As more and more processes move online, agencies have access to millions and millions of data points they didn’t before. While this presents myriad opportunities for improving government, the challenges of interpreting massive data […]

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Major False Claims Act Case

On April 19, I was fortunate enough to attend oral arguments at the Supreme Court for Universal Health Services v. Escobar. Although the facts of the case were tied to filings for reimbursement under Medicaid, the legal question at hand – whether the submission of an invoice to the government is an implied certification that […]

How State and Local Governments Can Order From GSA Schedules

One common misconception about the GSA Schedules is that only federal agencies are allowed to purchase from them. This mistake is quickly corrected with a glance at GSA Directive ADM 4800.2H, Eligibility to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services, which provides a six-page listing of eligible users and includes everyone from the Department of Defense to Howard University. […]

Can Small Businesses Survive Category Management?

The latest acquisition trend to hit the federal government is category management. The goal of category management is for the government to ‘act as one’ to take advantage of its considerable buying power and streamline the procurement process. To that end, GSA began establishing contract vehicles for commonly purchased ‘categories’ of products and services, many […]

DHS Commits $250M a Year to GSA’s OASIS – Are You Preparing to On-Ramp?

When a new government-wide contract vehicle comes onto the scene, contractors face the difficult decision of whether to expend precious bid and proposal resources on an unproven contract. GSA’s OASIS proved especially thorny in this respect – here was a brand new ‘hybrid’ contract for complex, integrated professional services that seemingly overlapped with GSA’s Multiple […]

Significant Settlement Proves There is no Safe Harbor against GSA Schedule Pricing Compliance

Read comments by Jennifer Aubel, principal consultant with Aronson LLC, in Federal News Radio article. VMWare, Carahsoft to pay $75.5M to settle False Claims Act allegations The Justice Department and the General Services Administration can add another False Claims Act settlement to its ever growing list. Justice announced today VMWare and Carahsoft Technology agreed to pay […]

The Latest on GSA’s Proposed Transactional Data Rule

As the comment period draws to a close, what is the latest on GSA’s proposed transactional data reporting rule? There has been news on two fronts. First of all, GSA has posted further information about the proposed rule on its Interact website under the ‘Multiple Award Schedules’ group. Most importantly, GSA has detailed in these […]