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Federal contracting websites updates delayed

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Contractors using the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to analyze awarded contacts data have discovered that the March 16 scheduled transition of the ad-hoc (or individually created) reporting function to beta.sam.gov has been delayed until at least May 2020.

This delay compounds the challenges experienced by the earlier rocky transition of FebBizOpps (FBO), the legacy federal contract bidding platform, to beta.sam.gov.

In mid-March, during a weekly web meeting with “power-users” including government and industry personnel covering data inconsistencies in the new testing platform called alpha.sam.gov, the announcement of the delay was made by Charles Xia, coordinator of the Agile process for the transition.

Only the FPDS ad-hoc reporting function will be transitioning to beta.SAM.gov’s Data Bank in May, 2020. The rest of FPDS functionality for static or standard reports (search, agency data entry, data extracts, etc.) will remain at legacy FPDS.gov system.

In an announcement, the General Services Administration (GSA) as manager of the transition, stated that the planned improvements to the ad-hoc reporting function include moving to a new business intelligence tool (MicroStrategy) to create and manage ad hoc reports, allowing for more robust reporting across all beta.SAM.gov domains.

GSA has created the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) which is used to manage and navigate the federal acquisition lifecycle. The IAE is designed as a single web application that will serve as the authoritative source for federal government award data, and is intended to increase transparency into federal spending, reduce reporting burdens for federal agencies, and increase data integrity and accountability in the contract award process.

The IAE includes SAM.gov, the legacy FPDS.gov, CPARS.gov and seven other federal contracting websites. It tracks over 1.6 million users on average per month, $1.1 trillion+ in federal awards annually, over 5 million transactions monthly, and interfaces with 90 agency contact writing systems.

IAE’s deputy assistant commissioner Vicky Niblett recently welcomed participants to a public webinar; where program specialist Salomeh Ghorbani led a presentation deck discussion about the progress of beta.SAM.gov to-date, including the aforementioned FPDS reports transition; and Agile product owner Charles Xia gave a live demo of the new reports functionality that will be rolled into beta.SAM.gov now in May, 2020. The webinar is available here: https://meet.gsa.gov/pdaqhj1jcpub/

IAE and SAM are used by nearly 35,000 contracting professionals and over 500,000 entities including the federal government, grantees, small and large businesses, financial institutions, mortgage companies and others to access and use contracts data.

Gloria Larkin is president and CEO of TargetGov. Email glorialarkinTG@targetgov.com.

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