Outdated tech delays GPO contract award

The Government Printing Office, the agency responsible for distributing government publications, has postponed a technology procurement that is critical to its new digital distribution system.

GPO officials canceled a request for proposals Oct. 17 for Web harvesting tools because the technologies submitted in February are already outdated. The RFP called for solutions on how to recover fugitive documents, which are materials that federal agencies have published on the Web, but no copy or record exists in GPO's database.

“We have decided to refresh the RFP for procuring a Web harvesting tool,” said Mike Wash, GPO’s chief technical officer, today. “New technologies have been developed since then, and as such, we feel that it is most prudent to get experience evaluating the latest technology for this critical need.”

Web harvesting is critical to GPO’s plans for a new distribution structure, the Future Digital System. The agency plans to create an architecture that can verify and track all versions of official government documents. Officials say the system's design will ensure authenticity of government information and provide permanent public access to the information.

As of last week, GPO officials said they expected to have an operational system by July 2007.

A new RFP will likely go out next week and will be available for 30 days, according to GPO officials.

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