Some Interesting Questions About GSA’s Best Rate

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» Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

According to the text, Travel Management Centers (TMCs), applying for the GSA Schedule are expected to offer prices better than those offered their best customer. This raises some interesting questions. Does GSA truly get the best rate? First, were this truly the case, it would be of no advantage for agencies to negotiate non-schedule TMC arrangements. They presumably could not get a better rate and presumably the $1.50 transaction fee is not enough to make the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) and competition, an expensive process, a profitable alternative. Why than would an agency choose to run its own competition? Is it solely to add additional requirements not available under the schedule? Does GSA require that TMCs on the schedule offer services in all locations? If so, is it cost effective to contract with TMCs that have more limited locations where an agency does not need the larger scope that GSA may require?

Can Commercial Travel Offices (CTOs) also be TMCs? If so, why would an agency offer GSA a better rate than DoD which presumably would offer more business? Of course, by using a monthly fee in responding to DoD solicitations, the CTO could offer a best rate to DoD while arguably offering a best customer rate to GSA.

Presumably, TMC best rates can be obtained, in part, under the Freedom of Information Act. I would think that large companies would use this information in negotiations with the TMC to get similar rates.

by Scott Goldsmith

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