SET-ASIDES

Bill would cover contractors for losses from fed shutdown

A group of House Democrats have introduced a bill that would let the government compensate federal contractors for any financial harm caused by the recent government shutdown.

The measure, H.R. 2857—sponsored by Reps. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), Jim Moran (D-Va.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and others—would cover liabilities of vendors and their employees because they could not be paid by the government.

Customs to drop paper notices in favor of on-line registrations

The Customs Service announced that as of Jan. 1 it would no longer issue notices about copyright and trademark registrations on paper.

The data will be available on-line only to agency officials through Customs Automated Commercial System and to the public on the agency's electronic bulletin board.

Small-purchase provision here to stay

The use of "micropurchasing" in federal procurement, where purchasing officials use agency charge cards to buy items worth less than $2,500, is most likely "here to stay," said Steven Kelman, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

The program has been "widely popular," he told government vendors last week, and is saving a lot of money. Each small-purchase transaction saves around $50, he said.

In 1995 General Services Administration card purchases alone totalled $137 million, according to William Gormley, head of the Federal Supply Service's Acquisition Management Office.

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