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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: December 28, 2004

SUBJECT: General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) Amendment 2004-04; Access to the Federal Procurement Data System

SOURCE: Federal Register, December 28, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 248, page 77661

AGENCIES: Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration (GSA)

ACTION: Interim Rule

SYNOPSIS: GSA is amending the GSAR to add GSAR 504.602-71 Federal Procurement Data System -- Public Access to Data, which specifies that $2,500 will be charged to members of the public that want to establish a direct computer connection with the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) database.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Information on FPDS is available at http://www.fpdsng.com/public_welcome_text.html. One may access FPDS information after registering at https://www.fpds.gov.

For more on the implementation of the electronic FPDS, see the December 11, 2003, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-18, Miscellaneous Amendments," Item (3).

The GSAR is the shaded part of the GSA Acquisition Manual, which is available on the Internet at http://www.acqnet.gov/GSAM/gsam.html.

DATES: Comments on the interim rule must be submitted on or before February 28, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, identified by "GSAR Amendment 2004-04, GSAR case 2004-G509", to: (1) http://www.regulations.gov; (2) e-mail: A HREF="mailto:gsarcase.2004-G509@gsa.gov">gsarcase.2004-G509@gsa.gov; OR (3) mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (VIR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurieann Duarte, Washington, DC 20405.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerry Olson, 202-501-3221.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 4.6, Contract Reporting, requires all federal agencies to report contract actions to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Created in 1978 to provide Congress with information on how the various government agencies were spending the money Congress appropriated, the FPDS has become the primary database of information relating to federal procurement, and is used to generate reports to the president, Congress, federal executive agencies, and the general public.

The FPDS, which is administered by GSA, has largely been a paper-based reporting system, requiring agencies to submit a Standard Form (SF) 279, Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) -- Individual Contract Action Report, for each action over $25,000, and an SF 281, Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) -- Summary Contract Action Report ($25,000 or Less), quarterly.

In 2003, GSA awarded a contract for the development and operation of an Internet-based "Federal Procurement Data System -- Next Generation" (FPDS-NG). FPDS-NG is now operational, and agencies are required to provide their contract award information through the FPDS-NG system.

GSA has announced that it will provide the public with three years of free access to FPDS data. The public will be able to access the FPDS data in any of the following three methods: (1) a copy of data can be made available using FTP (file transfer protocol) from the FPDS website; (2) prewritten queries (that can be customized to produce data for specified period and organizations) can be used that will produce reports; and (3) ad hoc queries can be written by members of the public to produce reports on nearly any desired set of FPDS data.

In addition, GSA will subsidize the cost of providing a special direct web services connection with the FPDS database for individuals, companies, or organizations wishing direct access to the FPDS database. GSA has announced that it will charge a one-time fee of $2,500 for this service. The $2,500 fee will partially cover the cost of technical support, testing, and certification of direct integration to the FPDS web services. However, those paying this fee will not be required to pay a fee for the data itself.

This interim rule adds GSAR Subpart 504.6, Contract Reporting, which consists of GSAR 504.602-71, Federal Procurement Data System -- Public Access to Data. Paragraph (b) states, "To the extent that a member of the public requests establishment of real-time integration of reporting services to run reports from another application, a one-time charge of $2,500 for the original integration must be paid by the requestor. This one-time charge covers the setup and certification required for an integrator to access the FPDS database and for technical assistance to help integrators use the web services. The fee will be paid to the FPDS contractor and credited to invoices submitted to GSA by the FPDS contractor."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The introduction to the interim rule warns that "direct access to the database may be restricted to non-peak hours, depending on level of demand and FPDS's ability to service the demand without degradation of service to other users."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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