The Federal Procurement Data System--Making It Work Better

PSAD-80-33: Published: Apr 18, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1980.

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GAO was requested to examine the effectiveness of the Federal Procurement Data System.

Progress has been made in setting up the system despite initial difficulties. Areas in need of greater progress include timeliness of reporting by the agencies and accuracy of the data submitted. Some agencies are still having difficulty in meeting the due dates for data. The Federal Procurement Data Center provided information from eight agencies which provided data in a timely manner, but had difficulty with the number of errors in their data. The accuracy of the system depends on the integrity of many individuals to prepare reports correctly. If a report is not prepared, the contract award data will not enter the system. The cost of converting the existing Department of Defense (DOD) contractor identification system to the recommended Dun and Bradstreet system would be about $1.45 million. GAO does not believe that the difference between the capabilities of a modified DOD system and the Dun and Bradstreet system justify the added costs that ihe Government will incur. The Center experienced a 5 percent cost overrun on its contract for computer processing time and paid for two software packages which it could not use because insufficient time was allowed for proper implementation of a database management system. Consequently, a less complex system was installed. A feasibility study is planned to determine the most economic method of acquiring computer time.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Office of Management and Budget should: monitor agency compliance and followup when agencies fail to report; provide for continuous followup until all agencies are routinely reporting in a timely manner; and provide for establishing positive and continuous internal controls at the agency level so the accuracy and completeness of data being submitted are assured. To improve the Center's procurement function the Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy should: reassess the need for the Dun and Bradstreet system and consider the feasibility and economy of using a modified DOD system; have the Center expedite its planned feasibility study to determine if it is more economical to acquire a computer in lieu of buying computer processing time; and evaluate the need for any future contracts and develop an appropriate procurement plan before an award is made.

    Agency Affected:


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