DATE: January 9, 2003

SUBJECT: General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Charging for FedBizOpps E-mail Notification Service

SOURCE: Federal Register, January 9, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 6, page 1357

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

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: GSA is proposing to add GSAR 505.102, Availability of Solicitations, to charge subscribers to the value-added e-mail notification service of Federal Business Opportunities (http://www.FedBizOpps.gov) a $30 annual fee beginning October 1, 2003.

EDITOR'S NOTE: 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: Submit comments on or before February 10, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to General Services Administration, Office of Acquisition Policy, Division (MVP), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, Washington, DC 20405; or be e-mail to: gsarcase.2002-g501@gsa.gov. Cite "GSAR Case 2002-G501" in all correspondence related to proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Loeb at 202-501-0650, or by e-mail at Edward.Loeb@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: FedBizOpps is the governmentwide point of entry where government business opportunities greater than $25,000, including synopses of proposed contract actions, solicitations, and associated information, can be accessed electronically by the public (FedBizOpps is discussed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 5, Publicizing Contract Actions).

GSA manages FedBizOpps.gov, and it currently provides, at no charge, an added-value e-mail notification service to the public (listed on the site as "Vendor Notification Service"). There are three options from which to choose:

  1. All notices for a particular solicitation number.
  2. All notices from selected organizations and product service classifications.
  3. All procurement notices.

To help GSA recover some of the costs associated with providing these value-added services, GSA is planning to charge subscribers choosing options 2 and 3 a $30 annual fee beginning October 1, 2003. The public will continue to be able to register to receive all notices related to a specific solicitation at no charge. Also, the public will still be able to access, free of charge, all postings on FedBizOpps and download all synopses daily. In other words, those who do not want to visit FedBizOpps on a daily basis will have to pay GSA $30 to send notices of solicitations and contract awards.

GSA anticipates adjusting the subscription cost annually based on subscriptions from the prior year so that the charges to the public represent a fair share of the costs of the FedBizOpps operations. To compare this charge, GSA points out that the predecessor to FedBizOpps, the Commerce Business Daily, charged $316 a year for its paper publication and $11,500 for its daily electronic file (CBDNet), and that CBDNet did not provide value-added email notification services.

To implement this charge, GSA would amend the GSAR by adding the following as GSAR 505.102:

           The General Services Administration (GSA), as the manager of the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps.gov) site, will charge a nominal fee to recover costs of operations for value-added services, specifically for an e-mail notification service to the public for FedBizOpps activities, to --
           (a) Receive all notices from selected organizations and product service classifications; or
      (b) Register to receive all procurement notices.

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

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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