DOD, administration push central vendor database
- By George I. Seffers
- May 29, 2000
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
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,
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.