November 11, 2005 | Northern Virginia Technology Council B2G Committee Legal Updates

GSA Admits Numerous Problems Exist with Its Procurement Data System

2 min

On September 27, 2005, Katherine Schinasi, Managing Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management at the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), submitted a report to Joshua Bolten, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), that explained that the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (“FPDS-NG”) may not have “achieved the intended improvements in the areas of timeliness and accuracy of data, as well as ease of use and access to data.” 

As the report further explained, the FPDS-NG “is the only governmentwide system for obtaining information on how these funds are being spent.  The FPDS-NG was intended to improve the prior FPDS system in several ways….”  However, some users of the FPDS-NG have little confidence in the timeliness or accuracy of the data that the system produces.  And despite the fact that 90 percent of agencies are connected to the FPDS-NG, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) is not.  Since the DoD enters into about 60% of the Government’s contracts, the FPDS-NG falls significantly short of complete coverage of Government procurement activity.  Additionally, the report found that “efforts to obtain data and to generate reports on interagency contracting transactions were unsuccessful.”

To remedy these problems, the report stated that it intended to “[w]ork with DOD and any other agencies that have not yet moved to an electronic data submission environment” and, among other things, determine “whether [the FPDS-NG] is the appropriate system to capture this data in the future.”

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