OFPP: Agencies must validate data for Federal Procurement Data System

FederalSpending.gov

Agencies will now have to verify and validate their contracting information for the Federal Procurement Data System, according to a recent memo.

Chief acquisition officers must set up a routine verification process and certify the data’s accuracy annually to the General Services Administration. Paul Denett, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, wrote in a March 9 memo that accuracy must be a top priority, adding that the government has failed at that criterion for decades.

“The Federal Data Procurement System must be an authoritative source that allows agency managers, contractors and policy-makers to make informed business decisions,” Denett wrote.

He also wants CAOs to assign clear responsibilities for verifying the data, adjust policies as necessary and add training if needed. He also wants CAOs’ annual statement supporting the results by Dec. 15, according to the memo.

“So, whether we are measuring the level of competition, identifying the type of contract vehicle or evaluating success against small-business goals, having accurate and timely information is critical,” he wrote.

“It is time to demonstrate that we can produce accurate data,” Denett added.

More importantly, Congress expects it.

Congress easily passed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act in 2006. It requires a public, searchable Web site listing the government’s contracting and grant information, and mandates that it be running by Jan. 1, 2008. The Office of Management and Budget already launched a placeholder Web page, FederalSpending.gov, as a precursor to the forthcoming site.

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