Commerce, DOD launch tech info service

The Commerce and Defense departments have launched an online subscription service for contractors who can use the Internet to gather technical information on the military's 12 million separate supply items.

Working with Denver-based Intessera Inc., Commerce's National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and DOD put online the Technical Data Package Material Information System. The TDPMIS will test the viability of using the Internet to disseminate technical data material for DOD solicitations and to reduce acquisition lead time for military procurements.

For more details on the program and subscriptions, point your browser to www.ntis.gov/tdpmis. Or check specfinder.intessera.com to get details about a commercial interface, called SpecFinder, for the TDPMIS system.

For now, the service will offer online subscription access to drawings, technical standards and military standards related to procurements from the Defense Supply Center in Richmond, Va., said Mike Williams, the electronic commerce program director at NTIS. DOD officials, however, would like the project to spread departmentwide. Officials are in talks with Defense supply centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia to begin offering services online.

While many DOD solicitation requests and bids are now handled electronically, vendors must wait two to six weeks to receive technical package information via mail or fax, Williams said. The new service can deliver the information within a day of the solicitation's publication, he said.

"A lot of times a vendor might miss a bid opportunity because they don't have the technical data," Williams said. "[NTIS is] kind of like a physical firewall for DOD. It helps manage DOD's security and maintain their bandwidth."

SpecFinder provides subscribers with the ability to use a World Wide Web-based browser to search for and retrieve an index of active DOD solicitations for procurements under $100,000. Like the direct interface with NTIS, after finding solicitations of interest via SpecFinder, users can view the entire technical data package.

Secret Service procurements online

The Secret Service last month launched a procurement Web page packed with details about its newest acquisition plans.

Point your browser to www.ustreas.gov/usss/proc to peek at this new electronic offering, which the Secret Service describes as a site that "Secret Service customers can...access...to view Secret Service solicitations, amendments, Commerce Business Daily notices, contract award information and procurement information from anywhere in the world."

The site is divided into three categories: procurement opportunities, procurement information and small business information.

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