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115th Congress    }                                     {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {     115-246

======================================================================



 
             VA PROCUREMENT EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 24, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Roe of Tennessee, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2006]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2006) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
improve the procurement practices of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Subcommittee Consideration.......................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     3
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs.....................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking................................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     6

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 2006, the ``VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency 
Act,'' was introduced by Representative Mike Coffman of 
Colorado on April 6, 2017. This bill would improve procurement 
within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by putting in 
place consistent parameters for VA to measure its cost savings 
from competition and encouraging VA to organize its templates 
for key procurement documents and share them across the 
organization.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    VA currently calculates cost savings achieved by 
competitive contracting in an inconsistent manner. Cost savings 
information is recorded for some contracts but not others. Cost 
savings information is recorded by some procurement offices but 
not others. There is no consistent standard for how the savings 
must be calculated, leading to divergent methods and misleading 
information. There is no central repository for the 
information, causing the picture of the magnitude of 
competition to be incomplete. Hence, when VA reports savings 
generated by competition, the information is unreliable and 
often selective. While there is no legal or regulatory 
requirement for federal agencies to measure and record such 
savings, other agencies have found it to be beneficial and 
opted to do it. Reporting aggregated competitive cost savings 
would indicate the effects of changing business conditions and 
contracting strategies used by the Department.
    Additionally, all government contracting relies heavily on 
templates for documents, such as statements of work, terms and 
conditions, clauses, and evaluation criteria. These documents, 
collectively, make up the contract. Government contract 
specialists tailor the templates to specific situations. Many 
agencies have instituted central, organized repositories of 
such templates, usually on the procurement organizations' 
intranet websites. VA has no template repository. VA has 
designated its contract writing software's database as the 
official place of record in which awarded contracts' files are 
stored (rather than the old method of maintaining physical 
contract files). Thus, contract documents are stored in 
electronic formats. Contract specialists are able to browse 
through the database, retrieve documents, and edit and reuse 
them to produce new contracts. This is significantly less 
efficient than utilizing a central organized repository of 
templates, because it requires the contract specialist to hunt 
for a previous contract that is similar to what is desired and 
rewrite the document more than would be necessary when using a 
template. Instituting a template repository would also help VA 
standardize practices among the many offices that make up its 
heterogeneous procurement organization.

                                Hearings

    There were no full Committee hearings held on H.R. 2006.
    On June 29, 2017, the Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations conducted a legislative hearing on: H.R. 2006, 
H.R. 2749, H.R. 2781, and a draft bill to improve the hiring, 
training, and efficiency of acquisition personnel and 
organizations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for 
other purposes (now H.R. 3169).
    The following witnesses testified:
          The Honorable Jack Bergman of Michigan; the Honorable 
        Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire; the Honorable Mike 
        Coffman of Colorado; the Honorable Neal Dunn of 
        Florida; the Honorable Jimmy Panetta of California; the 
        Honorable Bruce Poliquin of Maine; Mr. Thomas Burgess, 
        Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of 
        Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Department of 
        Veterans Affairs; Mr. Thomas Leney Executive Director, 
        Small and Veteran Business Programs, Office of Small 
        and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Department of 
        Veterans Affairs; Ms. Kaitlin Gray, Assistant Director, 
        National Veterans Employment and Education Division, 
        The American Legion; Mr. Patrick Murray, Associate 
        Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of 
        Foreign Wars of the United States; and Mr. Wayne 
        Simpson, Member, National Veterans Small Business 
        Coalition.
    A statement for the record was submitted by:
          The Associated General Contractors of America.

                       Subcommittee Consideration

    On July 12, 2017, the Subcommittee on Oversight and 
Investigations met in open markup session, a quorum being 
present, and ordered H.R. 2006 reported favorably to the full 
Committee. A motion by Representative Ann McLane Kuster of New 
Hampshire to report H.R. 2006 favorably to the House of 
Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 19, 2017, the full Committee met in open markup 
session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 2006 reported 
favorably to the House of Representatives by voice vote. A 
motion by Representative Tim Walz of Minnesota to report H.R. 
2006 favorably to the House of Representatives was agreed to by 
voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, no recorded votes were taken on 
amendments or in connection with ordering H.R. 2006, reported 
to the House.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are to improve transparency and efficiency 
in VA procurement by standardizing its measurement of cost 
savings from competition and ensuring its templates for key 
procurement documents are organized and shared across VA.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 2006 does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate on H.R. 
2006 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
for H.R. 2006 provided by the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 21, 2017.
Hon. Phil Roe, MD,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2006, the VA 
Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Dwayne M. 
Wright.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                                  (For Keith Hall).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2006--VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act

    H.R. 2006 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA) to calculate and record any cost savings realized from 
using competitive procedures for contracts awarded by the 
department. H.R. 2006 also would require VA to develop and use 
standard procurement templates across the department, where 
applicable.
    On the basis of information from VA, CBO expects that the 
requirement to both calculate and record cost savings could be 
implemented without increasing VA's staffing levels. 
Additionally, according to VA, the agency currently attempts to 
standardize the procurement process to the extent possible, so 
developing standard procurement templates for contracts would 
not require a significant departure from current practice. 
Therefore, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2006 would cost 
less than $500,000 over the 2017-2022 period, subject to the 
availability of appropriations.
    Enacting H.R. 2006 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2006 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 2006 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Dwayne M. 
Wright. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 2006, prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
2006.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to Article I, section 8 of the United States 
Constitution, H.R. 2006 is authorized by Congress' power to 
``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the 
United States.''

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that H.R. 2006 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act.

              Statement on Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that no provision 
of H.R. 2006 establishes or reauthorizes a program of the 
Federal Government known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, a program that was included in any report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                   Disclosure of Directed Rulemaking

    Pursuant to section 3(i) of H. Res. 5, 115th Cong. (2017), 
H.R. 2006 contains no directed rule making that would require 
the Secretary to prescribe regulations.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 cites the short title of H.R. 2006, to be the 
``VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act.''

Section 2. Information on cost or price savings from competition

    Section 2(a) would amend chapter 81 of title 38, U.S.C., by 
inserting a new section 8129 entitled, ``Information on cost or 
price savings from competition.''
    Section 8129(a) would require VA to record information on 
cost or price savings realized by competitive procedures 
involving any VA contract awarded that is reported in the 
Federal Procurement Data System or any successor system.
    Section 8129(b) would require VA to place the information 
recorded under subsection (a) in the Electronic Contract 
Management System, or any successor system, if the contract was 
recorded in that system. If the contract was not recorded in 
that system, the Secretary must determine an appropriate 
location to record the information.
    Section 8129(c) would require VA to calculate the cost or 
price savings from subsection (a) by: (A) subtracting the total 
value of the selected offer or quote from the average of the 
total values of all offers or quotes evaluated; or (B) 
subtracting the total value of the selected offer or quote from 
the total value of the median offer or quote evaluated. If the 
difference calculated is negative, VA would be required to 
record that amount as zero. Section 8129(c) would also require 
the Secretary to make the calculation required under this 
subsection at the time when funds are obligated under the 
contract or at the time when an option is exercised, if 
appropriate.
    Section 2(b) would provide a clerical amendment.

Section 3. Use of standardized procurement templates

    Section 3 would require the Secretary to make available and 
use standardized procurement templates across the department to 
the extent practicable. The Secretary would be able to 
customize templates to address specific procurement situations.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART VI--ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 81--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF HOSPITAL AND DOMICILIARY 
    FACILITIES; PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY; ENHANCED-USE LEASES OF REAL 
PROPERTY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



      SUBCHAPTER I--ACQUISITION AND OPERATION OF MEDICAL FACILITIES

Sec.
8101. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

                  SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

     * * * * * * *
8129. Information on cost or price savings from competition.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER II--PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 8129. Information on cost or price savings from competition

  (a) Recording of Information.--With respect to any contract 
awarded by the Secretary that is reported in the Federal 
Procurement Data System described in section 1122(a)(4)(A) of 
title 41, United States Code, or any successor system, the 
Secretary shall record information on the amount of any cost or 
price savings realized by using competitive procedures in 
awarding such contract.
  (b) Placement of Records.--The Secretary shall place recorded 
information under subsection (a) as follows:
          (1) With respect to contracts recorded in the 
        Electronic Contract Management System, or any successor 
        system, in such system.
          (2) With respect to contracts not covered by 
        paragraph (1), in a location determined appropriate by 
        the Secretary.
  (c) Calculation of Cost Savings.--(1) In carrying out 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall calculate the amount of 
cost or price savings realized by using competitive procedures 
in awarding a contract by--
          (A) subtracting the total value of the selected offer 
        or quote from the average of the total values of all 
        offers or quotes evaluated; or
          (B) subtracting the total value of the selected offer 
        or quote from the total value of the median offer or 
        quote evaluated.
  (2) If the difference calculated pursuant to paragraph (1) is 
negative, the Secretary shall record such difference as zero.
  (3) The Secretary shall make calculations under paragraph (1) 
with respect to a contract--
          (A) at the time at which the Secretary obligates 
        amounts under such contract; or
          (B) if such contract contains options, at the time at 
        which the option is exercised.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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