GSA: No worries about procurement data

FPDS Web page

Access to information from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) will not become more restricted when the private contractor that has taken it over opens the system to the public, according to officials from the General Services Administration.

Responding to some users' recent fears, David Drabkin, GSA's deputy associate administrator for acquisition policy, said last week that the information will continue to be available on a cost-recovery, just as it has been from GSA in the past.

FPDS is a central database in which agencies feed their procurement data. Global Computer Enterprises (GCE) Inc. won a contract in 2003 worth up to $24 million for seven years to develop and manage the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG). Company officials are still ironing out the details of making the data available, including setting a pricing structure with GSA's approval, Drabkin said.

Paul Murphy, president of Eagle Eye Publishers Inc., said he had not been able to obtain data he normally gets from GSA. Agency officials denied two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and Drabkin wrote in one denial that GSA no longer receives the raw data from agencies that Murphy needs.

Last week, after Murphy and others voiced concerns about a private company's control of public information, Drabkin sought to clarify the issue.

"The raw data, which is different from information,

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