Small agencies spared CCR fee

Central Contractor Registration

In hopes of boosting governmentwide use of the Central Contractor Registration database, the Defense Department has decided to exempt small agencies from paying to use it.

CCR is a repository of vendor data that makes transactions, especially electronic transactions, more efficient. It makes vendors responsible for updating their company's information — such as taxpayer identification numbers and electronic funds transfer data — a task that had become a bureaucratic ordeal for DOD.

Bush administration officials are pushing for governmentwide use of CCR.

Lisa Romney, CCR program manager with the Defense Electronic Business Program Office, said that most agencies using CCR are required to pay according to a formula based largely on the number of vendors that the agency is going to have in the system. Agencies then pay a corresponding percentage of CCR's operating budget.

The Defense Electronic Business Program Office, however, has decided not to charge agencies that would pay less than $5,000 based on the formula, Romney said. "It just would cost more than the money we would take in," she said.

The payment issue has been a significant hurdle for broader use of CCR, and Romney said the Office of Management and Budget is still examining the issue.

CCR officials are meeting with agencies if asked, but Romney said they do not have the staff to market CCR more broadly.

So far, only a few agencies are using the database. They include the departments of Interior, State, Transportation and Treasury as well as the Office of Personnel Management and NASA.

Governmentwide use of CCR is a goal, but could soon become mandatory. "Things are happening. It's just not in policy yet," Romney said.

DOD's use of CCR has sharply increased in recent years, enabling the Pentagon to save money by paying more vendors electronically and dramatically reducing the need for paper.

Robert Bemben, a procurement analyst in the Defense procurement office, said that electronic payments to large vendors has increased from 82 percent of all transactions in fiscal 1999 to 96 percent in fiscal 2002. But among smaller vendors, the percentage of electronic payments has increased more dramatically, from 26 percent in fiscal 1999 to more than 74 percent in fiscal 2002, he said.

Nearly 192,000 vendors are registered on CCR, Romney said.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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