OMB report finds agencies moving successfully to e-commerce

Agencies are making progress in using electronic commerce to improve their buying and paying processes, according to a long-awaited report released last Friday by the Office of Management and Budget.

The OMB report discusses the steps that agencies have taken to meet the goals of the governmentwide strategic plan for electronic commerce, issued in March 1998 by the Electronic Processes Initiatives Committee of the President's Management Council. The plan calls for agencies to use commercial e-commerce technologies and business practices to conduct transactions.

According to the report, which OMB submitted to Congress, agencies are increasingly using purchase cards to speed up low-dollar, high-volume purchasing. For example, in fiscal 1998 a number of agencies—including the departments of Health and Human Services, Transportation and Veterans Affairs—reported using purchase cards for 90 percent or more of their micro-purchases.

In addition, agencies have demonstrated that solicitations and related documents can be made available online via a governmentwide single point of entry, the report found. For example, several agencies are testing the Electronic Posting System, which provides a single place to post and look for solicitations, award notices and other information. Since the EPS pilot began in July 1998, nearly 11,000 postings from more than 2,200 registered EPS users have been made on EPS, and almost 17,000 vendors have signed up for electronic notification of posted opportunities

The OMB report can be found at policyworks.gov/epic.

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