GSA details acquisition system requirements

The General Services Administration is seeking comments on a draft document that details the functional and technical requirements and data standards for federal acquisition and contract writing systems. The document is the first step in a long-term plan to integrate acquisition and financial management functions, GSA said.

When they are finalized, the document’s requirements are expected to become the standard for qualifying commercial acquisition systems for federal agency acquisition, said Keith Thurston, acting deputy associate administrator in GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy’s Office of Technology Strategy. The document is in the Federal Register of April 28 and comment are by June 27.

GSA will revise the Federal Acquisition System Requirements document based on comments from industry and agencies and as processes and data standards are aligned within the acquisition environment and with the Financial Management Line of Business governmentwide consolidation initiative, Thurston  said.

GSA’s Financial Systems Integration Office, which manages FM LOB, has published a series of financial management system requirements documents that specify the functional and technical requirements that all financial management systems must meet to comply with federal standards.

The Chief Acquisition Officers Council and Chief Financial Officers Council requested the acquisition requirements document to start the process of integrating acquisition and financial management functions. The Acquisition Requirements Team, comprised of representatives from both organizations, drafted the requirements.

Agencies face major challenges in streamlining and automating procurement processes and a key prerequisite to developing better software is to clearly define the requirements that the software product must meet, Thurston said.

The document provides a framework for connecting program planning, contractor registration, financials, and a set of management processes with agencies' acquisition systems in order to deliver fully integrated acquisition suppor, GSA said, adding that they incorporate required system interfaces such as the Federal Procurement Data System and Central Contractor Registration.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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