Procurement office starts cleaning up contract data problems

Agencies are under increasing pressure to get their facts right as their contracting data goes public and gets closer scrutiny.

In a May 31 memo, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued a standardized form for agencies to fill out throughout the year to create an annual report that’s verified and validated. OFPP wants to know that agencies are capable of collecting accurate information.

Read the standard form for gathering data.

OFPP is also asking agencies to certify their procedures and verify that they have ways of monitoring contracting data and ensuring that their contractors report information in a timely fashion.


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To avoid giving agencies more work, OFPP has replaced the annual requirement for a procurement data quality plan with a request that every January agencies submit their certifications and any updates to their general data quality plans related to acquisition. Agencies sent those plans to the Office of Management and Budget in April 2010 to comply with the Open Government Directive.

In 2011, OFPP and the General Services Administration will continue convening an interagency working group that explores issues related to acquisition data, while sharing good ways to obtain the data and developing more training.

Poor data has been an ongoing problem for the government. The Government Accountability Office reported most recently in March that poor data had caused the government to duplicate contracts and purchases, which raises costs.

“Complete, accurate, and timely federal procurement data are essential for ensuring that the government has the right information when planning and awarding contracts,” wrote Dan Gordon, OFPP administrator, in the May 31 memo.

About the Author

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

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