FedGovContracts.com

Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: June 6, 2003

SUBJECT: General Services Administration (GSA); Posting Awarded Contracts on the Internet

SOURCE: Federal Register, June 6, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 109 page 33950

AGENCIES: Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) Program Office, GSA

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: GSA's IAE program office is initiating a pilot to begin making federal contracts available to the general public on the Internet, and is seeking comments to help it identify priorities for the pilot's implementation.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by August 5, 2003.

ADDRESSES:Send comments to General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVA), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, Attn: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405, or by e-mail to: Notice.2003-N01@gsa.gov. Cite "Notice 2003-N01" in all correspondence related to this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Teresa Sorrenti, Project Manager, Integrated Acquisition E-Gov Initiative, at 703-872-8610 or by e-mail to: teresa.sorrenti@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Several public interest groups have requested that agencies make contracts available online. These groups believe this type of transparency will facilitate constructive dialogue to promote model contracting, improve weak practices, and reduce repetitive requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for contracts that are of particular interest to the public. Federal contracts are not routinely posted on the Internet, though a limited amount of information about awarded contracts is available today through the Federal Procurement Data System (through which agencies report such information as contractor, dollar amount, supply or service procured, etc.) and FedBizOpps (http://www.FedBizOpps.gov) (where information about departments' and agencies' planned procurements over $25,000 is posted).

In response to this interest, the IAE program office is initiating a project to pilot the online posting of federal contracts. The IAE program office intends to scope the pilot in a manner that is both responsive to the interests of our taxpayers, and reasonable in light of potential costs and burden associated with this effort and the capabilities of technology currently employed by the government. This scope may be modified based on the success of initial pilot efforts and future enhancements to the government's technology infrastructure. The pilot may also eventually include grants. Regardless of how the pilot is structured, any proprietary information contained in a contract covered by the pilot would be redacted before posting.

The IAE program office is seeking the public's comments in helping to identify priorities for implementing the pilot. Comments are especially welcome on the following issues:

  1. Scope and availability. What parameters (factors) should guide the initial shape of the pilot (for example, the size or type of contract; amount of competition sought; product or service purchased; awards related to specific federal programs)? How long should contracts remain available after they have been posted?

  2. Guidance. What, if any, type of guidance may be beneficial to ensure posting is consistent with applicable laws and regulations (for example, is there a need for guidance to address the redaction of proprietary information, the identification of contracts whose disclosure would compromise the national security, or the application of FOIA generally)?

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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