GSA awards Global Computer Enterprises procurement contract

GSA awards Global Computer Enterprises procurement contract

The General Services Administration this week chose Global Computer Enterprises Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md., for a $24 million contract to revamp the Federal Procurement Data System, the central repository for all government contracting information.

The contract is for three years, with two one-year options. Its incentive clauses could further extend the contract if the vendor gives outstanding performance. Global Computer Enterprises' subcontractors are Business Objects Inc. of San Jose, Calif., IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Global Computer Enterprises, a small business, uses Oracle, Java and Extensible Markup Language to convert data and legacy systems for Web services. Its Web site says the company is implementing a core accounting system for the Coast Guard.

Neither GSA nor company representatives were available for comment on the award.

GSA released the request for proposals last November and received more than 40 bids, including offers from American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., and other large systems integrators. The revamped system is scheduled to begin collecting data Oct. 1.

'It is a time for a major refresh' of the FPDS, said Jim Kane, president of Federal Sources Inc., a McLean, Va., market research firm. 'We were aware of several major, well-known companies in the federal IT space that were interested in pursuing it, so this comes as a bit of a surprise.'

The upgraded procurement system is supposed to do more efficient, real-time data collection and reporting through a portal accessible by Web browser. GSA may require Global Computer Enterprises to connect agency collection systems to FPDS, the RFP said. Many procurement executives and industry experts have said that data in the current system is incomplete and the system is hard to use.

Kane said the challenge will be to make the system user-friendly as well as guarantee completeness of the data.

'When we looked at the associated business risk, that was our biggest concern,' he said. 'Trying to enforce quality standards with government agencies where you have no control will be difficult, unless there are some government-issued standards and policies.'

(Updated 8:17 a.m. April 28, 2003)

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