A Federal Acquisition Regulation rule requiring chief acquisition officers to certify that their previous fiscal year’s entries into FPDS are correct in a January report to OFPP, will now be augmented by a new rule, outlined in Administrator Dan Gordon’s memo (.pdf).
Come January, agencies will also be required to submit any acquisition-related updates to their agency’s general data quality plans to the Office of Management and Budget, through the OMB MAX community website.
“These updates should include, at a minimum, the steps agencies are taking to improve past performance reporting, in accordance with OFPP’s January 2011 memorandum,” wrote Gordon, “and other efforts to improve the quality of acquisition-related data and information.”
While the memo does not change the metrics for FPDS entry, it does provide standardized reporting templates and suggest sampling methodologies. Gordon asked agencies to stand up policies and internal controls to monitor procurement data quality and implement compliance controls for contractors. The memo also emphasized training, saying that OFPP will work with the Federal Acquisition Institute and Defense Acquisition University.
While FPDS has improved over the last several years, it hasn’t improved significantly, said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at McLean, Va.-based FedSources, which was recently acquired by Deltek.
“It takes a lot of effort to make every one of the 3 million to 7 million contract actions as perfect as they can possibly be,” said Bjorklund. “It’s a lot of humans.”
There’s no reliable, automated way to take contract actions and transfer that information to FPDS–especially when considering the subjectivity that comes with product service coding.
“There aren’t enough checks and balances. It would be great if there was some decision support system that would help all these agencies really report the data very accurately and very completely, but it doesn’t exist and it would be very expensive to develop a decision report system like that,” said Bjorklund.
— by mbernhart – Fierce Government – June 7, 2011 – 7:04am at http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/ofpp-adds-fpds-reporting-requirements/2011-06-07
– see the OFPP memo (.pdf)