Procurement portal gathers support
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Jun 05, 2000
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is garnering support for its proposal
to make the Electronic Posting System the single point of electronic entry
to government business opportunities.
In a May 16 memo, Deidre Lee, administrator of OFPP, said that she is
recommending EPS as the single point of entry for all opportunities over
Over the past few years, EPS has become the de facto point of entry
for business opportunities, with at least 14 agencies signed up to use it
to post solici- tations, synopses and related information.
In her memo, Lee asked the Procurement Executives Council's electronic
commerce committee to review her proposal. Late last month the committee
threw its support behind EPS.
"There were not any serious concerns raised by the EC committee," said Dave
Derr, associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions at the Department
of Veterans Affairs and chairman of last month's e-commerce committee meeting.
"Single point of entry using EPS is not a problem for us. I think that's
the general opinion."
Agencies would not have to discard their existing systems in favor of EPS;
they could interface with it, Derr said.
For example, the VA was one of the first agencies to use EPS after the
initial pilot two years ago. Now, about 25 VA purchasing offices use the
agency's Business Opportunity System to post solicitations, which are then
immediately posted to EPS. By the end of this fiscal year, all VA sites
will be on-board, Derr said.
The changes Lee is proposing include making Federal Acquisition Computer
Network postings automatically available on EPS. FACNET was established
to give agencies a standard method to electronically buy goods and services
from vendors using electronic data interchange, but it failed as a governmentwide
Other proposed changes include automatically posting EPS notices to
the Commerce Business Daily so that agencies do not need to make separate
postings to each system. Currently, any notice over $25,000 must be posted
Eventually, EPS could offer much more than simple postings, said Ken
Stepka, a procurement analyst at NASA. EPS was developed by NASA and redesigned
by the General Services Administration for governmentwide use.
"This is just a start," Stepka said. "This is the nucleus of starting a
much more featured government portal." For example, the Air Force is developing
a feature that enables vendors to securely post proposals in response to
While OFPP appears close to mandating EPS as the single face to industry,
the road has been a long one. "It's gratifying to see that it's finally
occurring after all the time and effort that have been poured into it so
far," said Tony Trenkle, director of electronic services at the Social Security