GSA launches purchase data system

After just five months of construction, the new Federal Procurement Data System is up and running.

The General Services Administration developed the system, unveiled today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, to replace an older one widely considered to be rife with data that was inaccurate and usually several months out of date. The new product has a Web interface and lets agencies' own applications feed purchasing data directly into the system, called Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation.

Global Computer Enterprises (GCE) Inc. in May won the system development contract, worth up to $24 million for seven years.

In unveiling the new system, GSA acting deputy administrator David Bibb said it was the end result of four years of effort. It is expected to save about $10 million a year governmentwide through greater efficiency, he said.

Over the next four to six months, GSA will be integrating as many agency systems as possible into the FPDS, said Teresa Sorrenti, program manager of the Integrated Acquisition Environment.

The system's benefits apply both to the whole government and to individual agencies, said Marty Wagner, associate administrator for GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy. It will give agencies the ability to research contracts similar to their own, get information about contractors and perform research on projects.

"The real question is, 'Do individual agencies have the tools they need?' " he said.

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