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Problems with Contract Database

An example of the problems involved with the government relying on the private sector to provide access to government information is provided by the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (“FPDS-NG”). This story from last February provides a good background on the issues.

Access Questioned In New Contract Database, by Rebecca Carr, Cox News Service, (02/04/05).

It describes how, for 25 years, the public could purchase CDs of federal contracting data for as little as $60 per quarter but that, in 2003, the General Services Administration paid a contractor $24 million to build a web based system. Problems with the sytem include:

  • key search fields are not available
  • users are required to register enabling the government to keep track of each user’s research
  • businesses and interest groups must pay a one-time fee of up to $2500
  • A FOIA request for the data was refused

A recent GAO analysis found additional problems. This article describes the report:

GAO: Improve the data, By Michael Hardy, FCW.com, Oct. 3, 2005.

GAO identified problems with the database being hard to use, out of date, and having performance problems.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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