Final rule mandates use of FedTeds

Agencies posting sensitive but unclassified information on the Internet relating to procurements now are required to use the Federal Technical Data Solution system, an online temporary repository of technical procurement data that is linked to the FedBizOpps.gov Web site.

In a final rule published last month, the Federal Acquisition Council said contracting officers must use FedTeds to control the availability and distribution of procurement sensitive material unless certain exceptions apply.

FedTeds is one piece of the Integrated Acquisition Environment e-government project. The FAR Council had been working on the rule since issuing a proposed rule in November 2004.

The Defense Information Systems Agency developed FedTeds, which the Defense Department is moving to the Business Transformation Agency, and is supported by IBM Corp. The Homeland Security Department, the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget also oversee parts of the system.

As of March, only eight agencies were using FedTeds for all of their sensitive data, said Richard Clark, FedTeds program manager, at the FOSE trade show in Washington.

According to Clark, the Army Corps of Engineers, for instance, said all their data is sensitive, so they put all their procurement data on FedTeds. The Air Force, Navy, Missile Defense Agency, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, General Services Administration and Treasury Department also use FedTeds.

Clark added that the Commerce and Justice departments and the Transportation Security Administration also have been trained to use it.

Now with the final rule in place, every agency will use it.

The final rule would permit not using FedTeds if:
  • Disclosure would compromise national security
  • The nature of the file does not make it cost-effective or practicable for contracting officers to provide access to the solicitation
  • Agency procedures specify that FedTeds does not provide enough control over the data and another way to distribute it is more appropriate
  • The agency's senior procurement executive determines in writing that using FedTeds is not in the department's best interest.

The FAR Council received 16 comments from seven interested parties. One of the more interesting answers from the council said FedTeds eventually may be merged into FedBizOpps.gov, as its functionality is an optional requirement under the new contract currently under protest in the Federal appeals court.

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