GPO calls for FDsys integrator

Government Printing Office officials are looking for integrators to implement a system for electronically managing official government content.

GPO officials released a sources sought notice last week for outside companies to plan acquisition and manage implementation of the Future Digital System, also known as FDsys. According to the notice, FDsys will verify and track versions of official content, assure its authenticity, preserve it and provide permanent public access for all branches of government.

Interested companies must plan an overall acquisition strategy, determine procurement vehicles and write statements of work. The notice requests that companies submit a capability statement of 10 pages or less.

FDsys is meant to verify and track versions of federal publications, which are under the domain of the Federal Depository Library Program. It is supposed to provide permanent public access through search tools and redundant and mirrored data storage. The system, which will not be tied to specific hardware or software, is supposed to automate many electronic content life cycle processes by October 2007.

No single system currently meets the needs outlined in GPO's strategic vision, published last month. The document calls for a flexible digital model for delivering federal information products and services. Content would be available for Web searching and Internet viewing, downloading and printing. FDsys would also supply document masters for conventional and on-demand printing.

"I think it's a good thing to see GPO reaching out to the private community," said Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement. "They don't always look to the private sector for solutions."

Handling electronic documents presents complexities suited to the private sector's expertise, Allen said. "I think it's also important to look at establishing agreements with multiple companies," he said. "It's a big government. I doubt there's a one-size-fits-all solution to this."

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