OFPP, SBA team up on procurement data

Agencies may soon have a smoother and faster process to deal with small-business contracting data. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Small Business Administration said Nov. 14 in a memo that they are aligning operations.

Each year, SBA sends individual reports to agencies on anomalies related to small-business contracting awards. The reports help officials answer questions about data before SBA releases its small-business contracting scorecards. Then agencies turn in reports to OFPP and the General Services Administration, certifying that their procurement data is accurate and complete.

This fiscal year, OFPP and SBA will begin integrating the two processes. Officials said integrating the small-business data quality reviews will reduce the acquisition workforce’s work and improve acquisition planning. They also said the new alignment will improve accuracy of the data.

For the fiscal 2011 data reviews, SBA will provide agencies with anomaly reports. These reports will be focused on high-risk areas though.

OFPP and SBA want something in return for their changes.

“We ask that you increase the attention given to small-business data quality as part of your ongoing data validation efforts,” they wrote in the memo.

Officials expect agencies to incorporate a stronger focus on small-business data.

To help with that, GSA is developing standard anomaly reports available in the Federal Procurement Data System. These reports use the protocols currently available to agencies. They will be easier to use with a standard form.

About the Author: Matthew Weigelt is a senior writer covering acquisition and procurement for Federal Computer Week.  This article appeared Nov. 18, 2011 at http://fcw.com/articles/2011/11/18/ofpp-sba-small-business-procurement-data.aspx.