DATE: February 15, 2002

SUBJECT: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); Electronic Listing of Acquisition Vehicles Available for Use By More Than One Agency

SOURCE: Federal Register, February 15, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 32, page 7255

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

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: It is proposed that a new FAR Subpart 5.6, Publicizing Multi-Agency Use Contracts, be added to require contracting activities to publish in a single online database information about their governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs), multi-agency contracts, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts, blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) under FSS contracts, and other procurement instruments intended for use by other agencies.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on a recent proposal to revise the definitions of GWACs, multi-agency contracts, and orders under task-order or delivery-order contracts, see the August 23, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); Task-Order and Delivery-Order Contracts."

DATES: Comments must be submitted before April 16, 2002 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVP), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405, or by e-mail to farcase.2001-030@gsa.gov. Cite FAR case 2001-030 in all correspondence related to this proposed rule.


SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: This proposed rule would add FAR Subpart 5.6 to require agencies to post information about the GWACs, multi-agency contracts, FSS contracts, BPAs under FSS contracts, and other procurement instruments intended for multiple agency use on the Internet (the site will be http://www.arnet.gov/gwac/govwide.html). This would provide contracting officers and program managers a single, searchable, on-line source of information on such acquisition vehicles.

FAR Subpart 5.6 would consist of a single section: FAR 5.601, Governmentwide Database of Contracts. FAR 5.601 would consist of three paragraphs:

The following data elements are being considered for inclusion in the database, and comments on the inclusion or exclusion of these or other data elements are invited:

     Basic Information About the Procurement Instrument

  1. Program name and acronym [searchable]
  2. Procurement instrument number [searchable]
  3. Type of procurement instrument [with drop down box that includes Governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC), multi-agency contract, FSS contract, BPA under FSS contract, other]
  4. Contractor
  5. North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) code [searchable]
  6. Federal supply or service code [searchable]
  7. Brief description of supplies and services [searchable]
  8. Applicable socio-economic information [with a drop down box and instruction to "check all that apply" followed by Small Business, Emerging Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, 8(a), Very Small Business, Woman-Owned Small Business, HUBZone, Veteran-Owned Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority Institution, Large Business, Other]
  9. Government website address where contract or program information is located (if available)

     Basic Information on Placing Orders

  1. Agencies that may place orders
  2. Date through which agencies may place orders
  3. Statutory authority for placing orders [with a drop down box to include --
    1. Clinger-Cohen GWAC authority;
    2. Economy Act, including Clinger-Cohen multi-agency contract authority;
    3. Other statutory authority not subject to the Economy Act (specify authority)]
  4. Ordering procedures, unless included at the web site in (9) above
  5. List of administrative fees

     Other Basic Information

  1. Agency or activity that awarded the procurement instrument [searchable]
  2. Activity point of contact/telephone number/e-mail address

The introduction to this proposed rule states, "While the new subpart is currently proposed for FAR Part 5, consideration is being given to alternatively identifying the database in FAR Part 7, to indicate its potential use in acquisition planning, with the requirements to populate the database called out in FAR Part 4 where other contract reporting requirements are identified. We encourage comments regarding placement of the new language."

EDITOR'S NOTE: This proposed rule is part of the "Integrated Acquisition Environment" initiative being undertaken by the Bush administration as part of its "e-Government strategy" to "set in motion a transformation of government around citizen needs." There are 24 different initiatives in the e-Government strategy, including such initiatives as development of a one-stop database of recreation areas nationwide; development of the ability to permit citizens to personalize the combination of services they obtain across multiple programs and agencies; development of a database to provide information on business laws and regulations (including wizards and tutorials to help users determine if rules apply to them and how to proceed); and development of a database of grants.

The Integrated Acquisition Environment would gather various databases together and make them available through a single portal. Some of the databases under consideration are DOD's Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps), Service Contract Act and Davis-Bacon Act wage determinations, and reporting of contract award information to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

The development of an "e-catalog" of multi-agency contract vehicles is intended to gather in one place information that has been scattered about the Internet (or been unavailable) to "simplify vendor selection and facilitate government buying." This proposed FAR change would facilitate the development of that e-catalog.

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

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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