GSA plans portal for FTS contract data

'With all the information in one place, it will make it easier for everyone.'

'FTS' Bob Suda

Employees in the General Services Administration soon will have a secure online system to track all Federal Technology Service procurements from request for information through contract closeout.

FTS last week awarded Unisys Corp. a seven-year, $36 million contract to build and run a system using applications from SAP America Inc. of Newton Square, Pa., PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Inc. of Arlington, Va., and TechFlow Inc. of San Diego.
Known as the 3rd Generation System, it will replace a five-year-old Lotus Notes system FTS built in-house.

'With the growth in our business environment, the Lotus Notes system was beyond its life capability,' said Bob Suda, assistant commissioner for IT Solutions in FTS. 'It also was built to only serve the regional offices and not the headquarters or National Program Office. It couldn't handle the size or amount of the transactions as well as the complexity of the transactions.'

Suda said the new system will capture all procurement information via a Web portal and improve the quality of the information available to FTS employees, industry and agency customers.

Navy's got it, too

The system, identical to one the Navy's Space and Warfare Systems Command in San Diego uses, also will eliminate the manual reconciliation process GSA must do because the regional system does not share data with other systems.

Suda said some minor modifications to the software may be necessary but most of what GSA's offices do now for procurements likely can be handled by the new system.

'With all the information in one place, it will make it easier for everyone,' Suda said. 'We will be able to do legal reviews and management oversight more efficiently, and project and program managers will have access to information more quickly.'

Suda said the system eventually is slated to become a part of the Integrated Acquisition Environment project, which GSA manages. Other parts of GSA and maybe even other agencies also will be able to use it, Suda said.

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