GSA considers fee for new FedBizOpps service

Federal officials are considering whether to charge contractors to use the FedBizOpps new e-mail notification feature, according to David Drabkin, deputy associate administrator in the General Services Administration's Office of Acquisition Policy.

FedBizOpps.gov is the government's Web portal for federal procurement opportunities worth more than $25,000. Contractors use the portal to search for job opportunities and, as a new service, can receive e-mail notification of opportunities in select categories.

The fee would be no more than $30 a year, Drabkin said.

The Office of Management and Budget has not approved the policy yet. If officials go forward with the proposal, GSA would probably use the Federal Acquisition Regulation rulemaking process to allow FedBizOpps users the opportunity to comment, Drabkin said.

GSA is trying to determine how to fund operation and maintenance of the portal, as well as future enhancements, Drabkin said. GSA's Federal Supply Service funded most of the development and operation of FedBizOpps in fiscal 2002 ? more than $4 million. About $650,000 is obligated annually from other agencies for portal operations. Vendors currently do not pay for use of FedBizOpps.

GSA must provide basic vendor access to FedBizOpps for free, Drabkin said.

"It's only for this added service," for which a fee is being considered, he said.

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