A confirmation prompt reduced financial self-reporting errors initially, but the effect did not persist in subsequent periods.

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What was the challenge?

Federal vendors making sales through the Federal Supply Schedules are required to pay a fee—the industrial funding fee (IFF)—that covers program operations costs. IFF payments owed are a fraction of the total sales made. To accurately determine how much vendors sold, and thus the correct IFF amount, the government uses a website where vendors are asked to self-report the quantity of total sales.

What was the program change?

At no material cost, OES designed an electronic signature box included at the beginning of GSA’s online reporting portal to promote vigilant and accurate self-reporting of sales and reduce errors.

How did the evaluation work?

Vendors were randomly assigned to use one of two options: 1) the existing reporting system (control); or 2) a modified interface (treatment) with the redesigned electronic signature box.

What was the impact?

In the quarter immediately following the implementation of the confirmation prompt, the median self-reported sales amount was $445 higher for vendors signing at the top of the form, translating into an extra $1.59 million in IFF paid to the government in a single quarter. In subsequent quarters, self-reported sales were still higher for treatment group vendors than for those in the control group, but the difference in these quarters was not statistically significant.

Year

2017

Agency

General Services Administration

Domain

Government Operations

Resources

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