Industry to evaluate GSA's grasp on info protection services

As it works to construct a new multiple-award schedule contract, the General Services Administration wants to understand how businesses deal with securing information.

GSA officials developed a proposed catalog of commercial services to help departments comply with regulations and laws to safeguard confidential information, according to a request for information posted today on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

GSA intends to put individual services, such as credit monitoring and independent risk analysis, into one package, the notice states.

To do so, agency officials want to know if industry believes GSA has an accurate grasp of personal identification information and personal health information services compared to commercial practices. They also want to know if they should include complementary services in the package or add them separately, according to the notice.

In the RFI, GSA also asks companies how much each service generates in annual sales.

Protecting information has garnered a lot of attention from administration officials and lawmakers, especially after several high-profile cases revealed how poorly agencies protect personal information.

The Office of Management and Budget has issued numerous memos on safeguarding against breaches and also sharing information among agencies. Congress has passed legislation to toughen standards, and task forces have offered officials their insight.

The high-profile cases opened a new market for services. For example, GSA awarded blanket purchase agreements for credit monitoring services in August 2006 after incidents of misplaced federal computers threatened the confidentiality of millions of veterans’ personal information in government records.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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