Two reports urge feds and industry to cooperate on EC

A pair of recently released documents on electronic commerce provide agencies with a road map to speed up the rate at which EC is used in government. In a strategic plan sent to Congress this month, the Office of Management and Budget recommended that by 2001 all federal agencies use commercial off

A pair of recently released documents on electronic commerce provide agencies with a road map to speed up the rate at which EC is used in government.

In a strategic plan sent to Congress this month, the Office of Management and Budget recommended that by 2001 all federal agencies use commercial off-the-shelf EC products to conduct end-to-end transactions so that doing business with the government becomes easier and faster.

The plan, "Electronic Commerce for Buyers and Sellers: A Strategic Plan for Electronic Federal Purchasing and Payment," which was drafted by the Electronic Processes Initiatives Committee (EPIC) of the President's Management Council, was developed in response to a requirement in the Defense Department's 1998 Reauthorization Act.

Meanwhile, the Industry Advisory Council, at the request of EPIC's Buying and Paying Task Force, released a report recommending the government use open standards for EC that will support a single face to industry and ensure interoperability.

Although the strategic plan represents the government assessment and the IAC report, called "Government and Industry: Doing Business Together Electronically," which represents industry recommendations, the two encourage the widespread use of EC based on standards and government-industry cooperation.

''The First Building Block''

Both plans reflect the government's shift in broadening the definition of EC and allowing agencies to choose the best technology for their needs, said Tony Trenkle, co-chairman of the General Services Administration's EC Program Management Office and who worked on drafting the OMB plan. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 mandated the use of the Federal Acquisition Computer Network standard architecture to conduct EC, but recent legislation repealed this requirement.

"Our report is the first effort by government to produce a coordinated report for electronic commerce buying and selling," Trenkle said. "I see this as a major step. It's the first building block in implementing electronic commerce."

"What we've done here is what I would call a first," said Howard Stern, chairman of the IAC Buying and Paying Task Force, the group that drafted the report. "The initial electronic commerce implementations in government were a failure. One reason is that the government did its planning in a vacuum. This time it asked industry for input about doing business electronically." What industry told the government in its report, Stern said, is that "we don't want to invest in a separate infrastructure to do business with the government. We want there to be a single face to industry, [but] it's a virtual infrastructure that operates under interoperable standards."

The IAC report is significant, said Katherine Hollis, deputy director, EPIC Buying and Paying Task Force, because it is the first time industry requirements have been collected and presented in this way.

"Industry had never been asked, 'What do you think you need?' " she said.

Where the OMB strategic plan is lacking, however, is in its use of general terms, such as "managing change," instead of more concrete suggestions. "The report uses too many buzzwords, which tend to send fuzzy signals to the contractor community and to agencies," said Christopher Yukins, a partner with Holland & Knight. "[The Office of Federal Procurement Policy] needs to send some clear signals on where government is going in electronic commerce."

The strategic plan lists seven principles that agencies should follow to make the transition to EC, which include outsourcing transaction processing, taking advantage of commercial applications and making the buying and paying processes more efficient.

Government-unique EC systems "will be developed only as a last resort for low-volume transaction activity, where industry has not invested in platforms to provide commercial services," the plan said.

The plan also laid out "building blocks" including the wider use of electronic catalogs, contract writing systems and security services that authenticate buyers and sellers on the Internet that are necessary for wide-scale EC.

Similarly, the IAC report suggested that agencies ensure the security of procurement-sensitive information, place orders electronically and standardize the format for submitting electronic bids.

The report also recommended that the EC infrastructure be based on commercial standards, such as open buying on the Internet, Secure Sockets Layer protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol for World Wide Web-enabled EC applications. Use of other standard tools, such as Java, also will ensure that agencies' electronic catalogs are compatible.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.