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Tag Archives: Level-3 financial data

GSA SmartPay Usage Is Down – How Is It Affecting You?

Recently, Mark Amtower showed the statistics in the decrease of spending in the GSA SmartPay program.  Spending dropped approximately 3 billion dollars and 20,000 transactions in FY 2012 compared to FY2011.  Are you suffering from lowering buying from the government?  If so, how do you offset this?  It’s time to look at your expenses.  The first place to look is at your credit card processing expenses.

As discussed extensively in this blog, providing level 3 data can reduce your expenses… Read More »

Level-3 data can ease auditing backlogs

A recent article in the Federal Times discussed some troubling concerns with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and its rising backlog of audits that can result in billions of dollars in un-audited defense contract costs.

From the article:

“The number of audits performed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency, which ensures that costs charged to the government by contractors are allowable and reasonable, has plummeted in recent years. Last year, the agency performed roughly a quarter the number of audits… Read More »

GSA SmartPay Cards Powering Large Task Order Purchases

Guy Timberlake is the Chief Visionary Officer of The American Small Business Coalition. He recently wrote a much commented on post regarding the growth of Simplified Acquisitions.

Here’s the interesting part to me:

“The GSA SmartPay/SmartPay2 purchase card was the payment mechanism for $12,861,425 of these purchases. $6,759,404 of these purchase card payments were to small businesses. The largest purchase card payment issued to-date was by the Department of the Army for $193,981.05.”

I interviewed David Shea, head of the SmartPay program… Read More »

Level-3 Delivers Best Price Without Pinching Margins

The Federal Times had an excellent article earlier this month about the relentless drive to cut costs at federal agencies. Government executives from the EEOC, VA and Commerce talk about how budget cuts are forcing them to press even harder for discounts from their contractors.

The article also quotes contractors who talk frankly how this pressure has affected their margins. One contractor admitted that her margins have been cut in half in the past two years. From the article:

“Service contractors… Read More »

Taking the Government Budget Conundrum Head On, How Contractors Can Maintain Profits in a Challenging Environment


A well known reality among government contractors is the anticipated decline in government spending during the next few years with the goal of  shrinking the federal deficit, which is expected to exceed $1 trillion for a fourth straight year.

According to a recent MarketWatch article, a Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that “government consumption expenditures and investments (goods and services the government buys directly) have fallen at a 2.8% annual rate since the stimulus began… Read More »

The Link Between FSSI and Level-3 Data

In late March the GSA published a presentation that clarified the relationship between the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) and the need for Level-3 financial data. Entitled “Point-Of-Sale Discounts for SmartPay® Cards,” it can be accessed here

FSSI currently covers ground delivery services, wireless service management and office supplies. The GSA wants to further maximize the effectiveness of FSSI through SmartPay card functionality.

That’s where Level-3 Data comes in. The GSA defines Level-3 Data as an “’electronic invoice’ with line-item details.”… Read More »

Educating the B2G Market on Level-3 Financial Data

Most companies doing business in the B2B and B2G markets are regrettably unaware of the advantages of Level-3 processing solutions.

Collecting transactional information called Level-3 financial data is the key to qualifying for and receiving the best rates for B2B and B2G commercial card and government purchasing card payments.  The best way to achieve this is to partner with a company that specializes in processing GSA SmartPay cards, and preferably one that has the Office of Charge Management’s (OCCM) stamp of… Read More »

Processing Charges Spark Political Battles, But Little Contractor Interest

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past four years talking to the government contracting community about more efficient financial processing. I realize the government market is specialized and many of these executives are extremely busy. But, I’m often surprised that transaction fees aren’t more on their radar.

After all, the past year has seen titanic political battles in Washington around transaction fees. Last year big banks and big retailers went toe-to-toe on the contentious issue of debit card fees,… Read More »

The Upcoming Schedule 70 SSI for Mobile and Level-3

In a recent interview on Federal News Radio’s Off the Shelf, one of the topics GSA FAS commissioner Steve Kempf discussed with show host Roger Waldron was the pending Schedule 70 Strategic Sourcing Initiative (SSI) for mobile communications. This SSI will be the latest in a recent series of initiatives applied to a GSA Schedule to improve purchasing efficiency.

One aspect that often gets overlooked by contractors when they hear about the various SSIs is that a basic requirement to… Read More »

Congressional Fishing Expedition in Response to GSA Scandal?

Government Executive published a very good story last week about congressional investigation into the 2010 GSA Western Region conference. In preparation for hearings, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has requested information on all conferences from 23 departments dating back to 2005.

Certainly an investigation is warranted in the wake of the GSA disclosures. But it’s a fair question to ask whether all this internal research and back tracking is the best use of time for agency personnel,… Read More »