State to announce electronic buying pilot

NEW ORLEANS—- The State Department plans to announce next month a limited electronic contracting initiative with the Army Communications and Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J., as part of its plan to automate the purchase of goods and services for U.S. embassies and posts around the world.

Speaking here before the Government Information Technology Executive Council's Information Processing Interagency Conference '98, Robert Dickson, executive director of State's Bureau of Administration, today said he hopes to take the electronic contracting package developed for the Army and one day apply it to State procurement departmentwide.

A pilot of the system will begin in early May in the department's Office of the Procurement Executive, and plans are under way for a separate demonstration at a U.S. embassy in Europe.

"We're going to walk before we run," Dickson said.

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