FEDWIRE

Final EBT rule on deck

Federal employees, retirees, veterans and vendors who are not already receiving salaries, benefits and payments electronically soon will be required to sign up for electronic deposit, but the Financial Management Service said last week that it will offer options to people without standard bank accounts.

The Treasury Department plans to develop special low-cost bank accounts, which private financial institutions will offer, for those people receiving federal payments.

Treasury is arranging with state governments to deliver payments to some recipients through electronic benefits transfer.

Individuals can receive paper checks until these options are available and under special circumstances. FMS plans to unveil more details in regulations due out this summer.

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OFPP drafts subcontracting policy

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy plans to release a draft policy letter on subcontracting this summer that will encourage agencies to give small businesses a bigger piece of the subcontracting pie.

The draft policy letter is designed to make it easier for small businesses to get business by pushing contracting shops and bidders to focus on the role of subcontractors during the procurement process.

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GAO to study FSS/FTS spinoff

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) plans to ask the General Accounting Office to report on the pros and cons of merging the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Service and the Federal Technology Service into a quasi-governmental organization that would operate along the lines of the U.S. Postal Service.

Davis has prepared a draft letter to GAO requesting the study, and he is expected to send a final version this week.

A staff member on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology said subcommittee chairman Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.) also plans to sign the letter.

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BDM wins EDGAR II

The Securities and Exchange Commission last week awarded BDM International Inc. a three-year, $49 million contract to design the second generation of the agency's online database of information on publicly traded companies.

As part of the redesign of its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval II program, the SEC wants to rely more on the Web, allowing public companies to file documents that contain graphics and charts, not just text, said SEC EDGAR II contracting officer Kenneth Fogash.

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