THE IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT OF GSA’S UNREALISTIC PRICING EXPECTATIONS
“You can get it good, or you can get it cheap” is a well-known saying in practically any market. It seems like that message hasn’t reached some at GSA, though, after Federal News Network (FNN) reported recently that the agency was demanding price reductions from contract rates already approved by warranted contracting officers. FNN stated that some companies were “bullied” into accepting decreases of as much as 40%. Government buyers who use the Schedules should actually be concerned about this. It means that they may end up with the “B” or “C” teams from a company when they’re seeking solutions to complex, or even mission critical, projects. If a company can’t keep or attract good talent because its Schedule rates are too low, they’ll do one of two things: Either stop selling through their contract entirely; or find a way to bring less expensive, less experienced workers on board specifically to work on Schedules-based projects. Look, as taxpayers we all want the government to work hard to get good values. No one wants to pay for a Porsche and get a Ford. On the other hand, though, we do want reliable solutions from trusted companies. Here’s a short memo to GSA: “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” Empower your CO’s to make good decisions and inject some common sense back into the Multiple Award Schedules. As we said recently, the canard that “Schedule prices are too high” is older than the hills. Negotiate thoroughly, but fairly, and realize that sometimes there just isn’t more to be squeezed.