Procurement systems eye tie-ins

Plans for improving major procurement systems at the General Services Administration and the Defense Department will make buying and selling online in the government market a lot easier.

A major effort at GSA this year will be to tie the Information Technology Solutions Shop into the FedBizOpps system hosted by GSA, said David Griffin, ITSS project manager.

The ITSS system is only for agency procurements on existing contracts. So if an agency starts working with GSA's Federal Technology Service on ITSS and finds it has to create its own contract, the agency has to start the solicitation all over again within the FedBizOpps process.

With the integration, agencies will be able to move seamlessly from one system to the other as their needs change, Griffin said Wednesday at an acquisition seminar hosted by the Federal Acquisition Institute and the Defense Acquisition University.

Last year, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy named FedBizOpps, formerly called the Electronic Posting System, as the single point of entry for contracting across government. Agencies issuing new solicitations provide links on the site that bring interested vendors back to the agency's own contracting site.

On the Defense side, the site — now in its third version — provides the same function as FedBizOpps. The challenge now is to bring the two systems together for a true single point of entry for all government contracting, said Thomas Sadowski, a contractor from PricewaterhouseCoopers in the DOD Joint Electronic Commerce Program Office.

Like FedBizOpps, the DoDBusOpps site provides only links to the different services' contracting sites. But it also allows for specific searches that are being honed all the time with input from vendors, said Rick Clark, project manager for DoDBusOpps under the JECPO.

On that front, the next step is to increase the system's integration with DOD's Central Contractor Registration database, thus bringing more vendor information into the system.


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