The government has a compelling need to understand where your tax dollars are spent. Collecting data about Government procurements provides a broad picture of the overall Federal acquisition process. The ability to look at all contracts across many agencies, in greater detail, is a key ingredient to establishing trust in our government and credibility in the professionals who use these contracts. With a view of the federal spending we can hope to conduct analyses to structure strategic procurements and save money; improve government-wide management; and establish interoperation with other government-wide data systems.
No. There is no specific or required structure to a contract number. However, some agencies do have contract numbers that are formatted to provide data that is either coded or transparent, e.g., the fiscal year, type of contract, or activity location. But beyond very simple information, the contract numbers do not reflect what was purchased.
The OMB is keenly aware that agencies have been independently buying, using their own processes and numbering schemes for years. As we are in the process of streamlining the procurement phases that all agencies do similarly, we are increasingly interested in areas that must be standardized to allow data sharing. Although having contract numbers that are similar would be helpful, it isn't absolutely necessary. And as such, making all agencies follow a mandated scheme is not a crucial factor at the current time.
No. Only data about the contract is in FPDS.
You must contact the contracting officer to request a copy of the contract. You must reference the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain contract documents.
No. The contract file is not stored in a federally sponsored, central repository. It remains with the contracting office. Some agencies have developed internal repositories to aid in the electronic distribution of contract files which would make it easier to receive an electronic version, but there is no mandate to do this.
We refer to this level of detail as the "contract line item" or the "contract line item number" (CLIN) data. CLIN data is not pushed to FPDS. Usually CLIN data is available to the public through a formal request made to the contracting office. Agencies with automatic contract writing systems can, or will be able to, review data at the CLIN level. You have to inquire at the contract office if they have that capability.
The contractor's proposal is usually (but not always) incorporated into what becomes the final contract at time of award. It may be retained as an attachment, or it may be revised into the statement of work (Section C) of the contract. The contracting officer is the only one who would be able to provide the specifics of a given contract, assuming that is not proprietary information. If the contractor feels it is proprietary, when given a chance they can remove whatever they don't want released under a FOIA request.
The contract's deliverables are usually (but not always) provided under the terms and conditions or it may be revised into Section D of the contract. The contracting officer is the only one who would be able to provide the specifics of a given contract.
Our government uses the federal procurement process to encourage agencies to award contracts to small companies owned by women, veterans, or minorities or located in economically challenged areas.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible to set goals for small business participation in federal contracts, and each year the SBA works with each agency to set goals. The SBA submits to Congress an annual Small Business Goaling Report with achievements against the goals. The report is generated by FPDS-NG. The official Small Business Goaling Report is published on the SBA website, www.sba.gov.
The government prepares two types of reports dealing with socio-economic data: The SBA Small Business Goaling Report (done government-wide, Departments, and for Agencies) and the Socio-Economic Accomplishments reports - they represent Goaling vs. Accomplishments.
Goaling reports give "credit" to the departments and agencies that PAY FOR a contract (instead of the ones that award the contracts - there is a difference).
Accomplishments reports give "credit" to the departments or agencies that AWARD the contracts (not to the ones paying for the work).
Both types of reports exclude certain categories of procurements when calculating the percentages. See the item "What is excluded from the Small Business Goaling Report?" below.
When calculating the percentages in the Goaling reports, the Small Business Administration determined that the counts of actions and sums of obligated dollars for certain actions shall be excluded.
The following categories of contracts are not included in the "base" amount:
1. Javits-Wagner O'Day Program (JWOD, Sheltered Workshops)
2. UNICOR or Federal Prison Industries
3. American Institute in Taiwan
4. Contracts awarded and performed outside the United States
5. Acquisitions by Agencies on behalf of foreign governments or entities or international organizations
6. Contracts funded predominately with agency generated sources.
7. Accordingly, the following Government Agencies are excluded:
It represents the number of times the government contracts were awarded using the 8(a) procedures. The SBA has the Section 8(a) Program for companies who apply for the 8(a) designation. SBA keeps track of the effectiveness of the program and counts awards made using an 8(a) set-aside or 8(a) competition.
The order or contract provides for payments to the contractor to be made through use of the purchase card. These are "charges" backed by a contract vehicle. It allows the government and the contractor to avoid the use of expensive invoices.
In addition to the information about use of the purchase card as a method of payment, some agencies submit data about their purchase card transactions because that is a significant part of their procurement activity. Essentially they use this method of reporting because they don't have many large orders or contracts. Using the purchase card enables them to demonstrate achievement of socio-economic goals. FPDS-NG does not prohibit submission of data about purchase card transactions, but doing so is purely optional.
The data about contracts and the data about purchase card activity are maintained in two separated databases. We are working to provide the display and reports for both from a single tool.
Purchase card data is collected by the banks that issue the cards. Summary purchase card data will be made available via FPDS at some point in the future...perhaps as early as fiscal year 2007.
The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) classifies commercial activity into broad categories, e.g., farming, manufacturer, wholesaler, retail, services. Contracts, on the other hand, generally purchase specific goods or services. We don't buy "PHOTOGRAPHIC AND PHOTOCOPYING EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING" or "PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES WHOLESALERS" or "CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHIC SUPPLIES STORES" -- we buy cameras. Therefore, FPDS has a second set of Products and Services Codes (PSCs). While still rather general, the PSCs are more specific -- "PHOTOGRAPHIC EQPT", for example.
In FPDS-NG, the new Description of Requirement field collects detailed information about the purpose of the contract. It is the combination of the two codes plus the description, that enables greater visibility into what is procured.
If you are using a home computer or one in an office that is not part of a network, contact the Help Desk at 703-390-5360, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are on a computer that is part of a larger network, contact your organization's information technology (IT) staff and ask them to check any HTTP connection timeouts on any outbound web proxy servers and/or firewalls (Yes, we know that's a foreign language for most of us...just repeat it to them). If there is a timeout on these connections, it could cause the remainder of the data to not be presented to your web browser.
After you've checked that, if it still times out, call the Help Desk and let them know the name and phone number of your IT staff who was helping you. Generally the two technicians are able to diagnose and fix the problem.
The following 13 data elements will not be found in FPDS-NG. This is the "Don't Have List". Contracting officers can't put this information in FPDS-NG even if they want to. Most of this data resides at the individual contracting office.
a. Subcontracting data from either the government or the prime contractors with whom we do business. The government does have a method to collect this data at http://www.esrs.gov. The two data sources work together.
b. Contract funding data outside of estimated totals and funds obligated on an action.
c. Contract accounting data.
d. As discussed in Question 7 above, contract line item data is not in FPDS-NG. And that includes specific information about the CLIN such as:
e. No administration details such as: contracting officer's technical representative names; wage determinations data; details about the services via the contract number.
f. Details of the contractor's employee or staffing levels.
g. Management plans.
h. Statements of work or objectives.
i. Terms and conditions of a contract.
k. Entitlement expenditures including health, drug, Medicare, or insurance payouts. However, contracts about the management of these programs are required to be submitted.
l. Contractor proposals from the awardee or any other interested party.
m. Information about any parties excluded from the procurement.