DATE: August 21, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); Electronic Commerce in Federal Procurement

SOURCE: Federal Register, August 21, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 162, page 50871

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: It is proposed that the FAR (particularly FAR Part 5, Publicizing Contract Actions) be amended to designate FedBizOpps (http://www.fedbizopps.gov) as the single governmentwide point of electronic entry (GPE) to federal procurement opportunities. Agencies would have until October 1, 2001, to complete their transition to FedBizOpps.

DATES: Submit comments on or before October 20, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVRS), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405, e-mail: farcase.1997-304@gsa.gov. Cite FAR case 1997-304 in all correspondence related to this proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ralph De Stefano, Procurement Analyst, 202-501-1758.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 105-85), Section 850, Use of Electronic Commerce in Federal Procurement, eliminated the preference for electronic commerce to be conducted through the Federal Acquisition Computer Network (FACNET). On October 30, 1998, Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 97-09 was published, and it contained an interim rule that implemented Section 850 of Public Law 105-85 and substituted more flexible electronic commerce policies. Comments on the interim rule were invited, and 28 respondents submitted comments.

Since the publication of FAC 97-09, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) has studied the advantages and disadvantages of several electronic methods of disseminating federal procurement information, including FACNET, Commerce Business Daily Network (CBDNet), and the Electronic Posting System (EPS). OFPP wanted to create a central point for electronic access to business opportunities, leverage the investment made by the private sector in commercial software and techniques, provide sellers with a consistent process for locating business opportunities, and provide government buyers a streamlined method of preparing and issuing solicitation information without disrupting current agency electronic commerce software. OFPP has decide that the EPS is the best vehicle for meeting these objectives. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The EPS, which is operated by GSA and is used by 20 agencies, is being renamed as "FedBizOpps" (Federal Business Opportunities), and will be accessible at http://www.fedbizopps.gov.)

This proposed rule would establish FedBizOpps as the single GPE for accessing notices of proposed contract actions, solicitations, and related procurement information. In addition, it would incorporate several of the comments submitted in response to the October 30, 1998, interim rule.

Most of the changes in the proposed rule would either substitute "GPE" for "CBD" [Commerce Business Daily] or would add "GPE" to requirements and statements applicable to the CBD. The following are other major changes that would be made by this proposed rule:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2000 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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