Information about federal contract awards -- formerly compiled and provided by the General Services Administration -- will soon be forwarded by federal agencies directly to The Federal Procurement Data System Next Generation (FPDS-NG)
system run by Global Computer Enterprises for compilation and distribution. The outsourcing has some people worried about access and fees, according to media reports. The Federal Procurement Data System database is used by vendors to keep tabs on competitors, and by researchers to follow the expenditure of tax dollars.
Federal sources say the new database -- scheduled to begin in October -- will provide faster access to data that contains fewer errors. A federal spokesman, quoted in a Washington Post
article, said that access fees are being negotiated and may be higher than those charged by the GSA, but scoffed at reports of fees 10 times current levels. Many reports will be free, he said, and federal agencies and members of Congress can search for free.