GSA points out a spending database already exists

With Congress mulling legislation to establish a Web site to track all federal spending, a key General Services Administration official suggested the agency might be ahead of the curve.

Emily Murphy, GSA's chief acquisition officer, urged federal and industry customers to try out the agency's existing procurement database and determine whether improvements are necessary.

'Go and look at it and see if it is meeting your needs,' Murphy said at a speech in Washington last month.

Current database

GSA currently uses the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation to manage agency spending on goods and services.

The system was upgraded in 2004 and now interfaces with most agency procurement systems.

Murphy said that in the past, FPDS 'has been hard to use.' However, several new tools have been added recently to address concerns raised last year in a report from the Government Accountability Office, she said.

Meanwhile, Murphy repeated a mantra advocated by new GSA administrator Lurita Doan'that the agency should be the only place for government procurement.
Murphy said GSA continues working to improve its own governmentwide acquisition contracts so that agencies will not feel the need to launch their own massive IT procurement vehicles for many of the same services.

In particular, GSA is going to expand the use of its electronic purchasing tools, including eBuy and eOffer. The idea is 'to make it easier to do business with us,' she added.

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