DOD, administration push central vendor database

The Defense Department and the Clinton administration are encouraging other

agencies to use a detailed contractor database developed by DOD to help

them conduct business electronically.

DOD and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy want the entire federal

government to use the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database, a

central repository of vendors' taxpayer identification numbers and electronic

funds transfer information used to process transactions. By using the database,

agencies and vendors would need to enter these numbers only once. The Pentagon

requires all vendors that do business with DOD to register in CCR as a prerequisite

for being considered for contract awards.

The Joint Electronic Commerce Program Office (JECPO), a collaboration

between the Defense Logistics Agency

and the Defense Information Systems Agency, maintains the database.

"The CCR transitioning to a federal solution could eliminate the need

for government employees to collect vendor data multiple times," said Cynthia

Hall, the CCR program manager at JECPO.

The departments of Interior and Transportation have signed on to use

the system, and the Treasury Department is expected to sign an agreement

soon. DOT is expected to make an announcement shortly about how it will

use CCR to supply its finance offices with vendor electronic funds transfer

information. Interior has had access to the database for several months

but has not yet integrated it into its business process.

"They're all in different stages, but their goal is to ultimately do

what DOD is doing - to integrate the information and facilitate electronic

funds transfer payments so that they no longer need to go out and get the

data themselves," said Lisa Romney, the deputy program manager for CCR at

JECPO.

Transportation officials declined to comment about CCR. Interior officials

and OFPP officials could not be reached for comment. About 15 other agencies

have shown interest in CCR, Hall said.

Vendors were initially slow to sign up for CCR when DOD introduced it

in 1997. However, CCR now boasts nearly 167,000 registrants. If adopted

governmentwide, the database could host information on up to 350,000 companies,

proponents say.

Using the system governmentwide, proponents say, would be a major step

forward for electronic commerce. "In fact, if the alternative were for the

other government agencies to develop their own databases that companies

would have to register with, they would probably prefer that CCR be spread

across the government," said Larry Allen, executive director of the Coalition

for Government Procurement.

The database will be demonstrated at the DOD's Electronic Commerce Day,

scheduled for June 5 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

MORE INFO

"CCR benefits"[Federal Computer Week, May 29, 2000]

"Taking reform effortsto school" [Federal Computer Week, April 6, 1998]

Central Contractor Registration Web site

BY George I. Seffers
May 29, 2000

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