CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY

GSA kicks off competition for new DUNS service

The General Services Administration is now taking bids on a new contract to manage its system for verifying all organizations that do business with the federal government, either by contract or under grants.

This effort is a shift away from the current, longstanding Dun & Bradstreet-provided Data Universal Numbering System agencies currently use to identify all contractors, nonprofits and other entities for almost five decades.

DUNS numbers became the official identifiers for the Federal Acquisition Regulation in 1998 but have been in use since 1962. The current contract with D&B expires this year.

GSA issued a request for proposals Friday in search of a new identifier and unique numbering system for its Integrated Award Environment and System for Award Management. This new contract will have one base year with four individual option years after that.

All bids are due to GSA by Oct. 1 and written questions can be submitted through Sept. 19.

The agency issued a pair of requests for information last year to kick off its search for ways to cut down its reliance on the proprietary DUNS number system, which some transparency advocates have criticized as reported previously by FCW.com.

They have pushed for more open, transparent availability of contracting information. GSA and D&B reached an agreement two years ago to let agencies and citizens more freely access data generated from the DUNS numbering system.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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