Procurement office starts cleaning up contract data problems
- By Matthew Weigelt
- Jun 02, 2011
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.
As federal awardee database opens, debate about openness continues
POGO argues for release of past-performance information
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
“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.
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.