GSA constructs site for vendor guide; Treasury page offers wealth of data

The General Services Administration has launched a new electronic version of its Federal Supply Service vendor guide that is designed to give commercial companies an easy way to access tips and other information about the service.

The guide, previously available only in paper format, can now be found on the World Wide Web at pub.fss.gsa.gov/vendorguide, but some portions of the site are still under construction.

The page is divided in two, but don't bother with the left frame of the screen; it doesn't seem to serve any purpose.

Instead, start on the right side of the screen, which offers a comprehensive overview of the intricacies of the FSS, including detailed explanations of single-award schedules, multiple-award schedules and blanket purchase agreements.

The guide also offers helpful guidance for vendors preparing to seek a multiple-award contract. However, this section of the guide— along with other vital portions— are difficult to find because they are hidden behind several other pages of text. This page sorely needs a table of contents or some other type of resource to help readers avoid information overload.

The site does provide a search engine at the bottom of the page. However, it only takes the user to one area of the guide where the search topic resides. The others are highlighted throughout the document but are not pulled up during the initial search.

Treasury Overhaul

The Treasury Department has overhauled its home page to offer an electronic smorgasbord of data in a well-organized, eye-pleasing format that can be found at www.treas.gov and by clicking on the welcoming image of the Treasury building.

This site then presents a clear graphic of everything it offers in a tool box on the left side of the page. For those looking for a general overview of the agency, a good place to start is the About Treasury section, which is packed with information ranging from news about what happened on this date in Treasury history to a Learning Vault, which pulls together various educational offerings. For example, Treasury has been pressured by various groups over the years to stop making pennies, even though pennies are the most commonly used denomination of currency.

Other categories sweep the reader away to other Web sites that have details about Treasury bureaus and offices and other pieces of public information. Some of the most interesting include the Business Services section, which offers details about registering a business and links to various procurement sites, and the Current Headlines section, which has posted the latest Treasury reports and studies. This section soon will begin offering communications from the department to Congress such as testimony, proposed legislation, studies and reports prepared for Congress.

The page even has offerings for children and other students. Point your cursor to Educational Links, which pulls together pages for kids and also features the Dog of the Month page, which honors canines who happen to be Treasury employees. The Dog of the Month for July was B-Bad, a yellow Labrador retriever who works with the Customs Service in Texas and once helped to sniff out 995 pounds of marijuana that was hidden in a car.

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