GAO praises NASA's online procurement system

ksaldarini@govexec.com

NASA's online procurement system is easy to navigate and provides useful information quickly, according to a new General Accounting Office report.

GAO examined user feedback when reviewing NASA's Acquisition Internet Service (NAIS), the first agency-wide online procurement information site in the federal government. A poll of online comments revealed that 87 percent of NAIS users found the site beneficial.

NAIS includes:

  • an online procurement reference library;
  • an electronic posting system that allows staff to post notices and solicitations directly on the Internet;
  • an e-mail notification service that automatically informs vendors when new procurement information is posted to the site.

Information on the NAIS site can be downloaded or synopses can be reviewed online. Users can search for contracts on the site by state, congressional district, business type and type of product or service.

According to NASA, the agency's online systems saves nearly $2.3 million per year in staffing and administrative costs. It costs NASA $100,000 annually to run the site.

A multi-agency electronic posting system may be developed based on NASA's model, the report said. Such a system is currently being tested by NASA, GSA and other agencies.

Government Executive recognized NAIS with one of 19 Government Technology Leadership Awards last year.

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