NASA advancing Virtual Procurement Office
- By Diane Frank
- Nov 16, 2000
NASA Virtual Procurement Office
NASA plans to move its Virtual Procurement Office into a new phase that
offers personalization and enhanced communication between the contracting
office and program officials.
The VPO is an online system NASA developed to provide a central place for
the agency's contracting personnel to find and use governmentwide and agency-specific
regulations. Almost a year after going live, the system is in wide use throughout
NASA, and the agency is speaking with the Justice Department and others
about transferring the system.
But within NASA, there are plans to move the VPO into Phase II, which will
provide enhancements including personalization of the system and automatic
communication between the contracting office and program officials on procurement
status, said Tom Deback, VPO team leader and a procurement analyst in the
NASA headquarters' contract management division.
The personalization feature will enable an individual to log on and pull
up all of the procurement actions he or she is working on, eliminating the
need to perform a search. It also will have an "auto-fill" capability, which
should be available within the next year. Auto-fill will relieve users of
having to repeatedly enter information such as contractor and vendor name,
contact numbers, e-mail addresses and solicitation numbers.
"I want auto-fill really, really badly," Deback said. "I think it's going
to save people a lot of time and frustration."
Helping the auto-fill feature will be a procurement data warehouse the agency
is developing that will integrate all data systems within each NASA center.
It will enable the auto-fill feature because the VPO will be able to pull
contract information from the data warehouse, Deback said.