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Federal Acquisition Computer Network

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Overview Edit

The Federal Acquisition Computer Network (FACNET) was

a Governmentwide system that provides universal user access, employs nationally and internationally recognized data formats, and allows the electronic data interchange of acquisition information between the private sector and the Federal Government. FACNET qualifie[d] as the single, Governmentwide point of entry pending designation by the Administration of Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).[1]

Historical background Edit

In 1994, Congress enacted the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA), which in Title IX called for the development of a Federal Acquisition Computer Network (FACNET) for automating the procurement process. FACNET was to be the preferred means for conducting Government purchases above the micro-purchase limit and below the simplified acquisition threshold. The law set a goal: the Government was to utilize FACNET to purchase more than 75% of its goods and services within these dollar limits by 2000.

However, in its 1997 report, "Acquisition Reform: Obstacles to Implementing FACNET," the GAO reviewed comments from agency electronic commerce managers about FACNET's effectiveness, its ability to handle simple procurement transactions and its management and technical obstacles. As a result, GAO urged the Office of Management and Budget, General Services Administration, DOD and other leading Federal procurement shops to devise a new integrated electronic commerce strategy based on clearer functional requirements.

In 1997, Congress enacted Pub. L. No. 105-85, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998, which removed the statutory goal and freed agencies to use other electronic contracting means, such as FedBizOpps. Because of implementing obstacles, the statutory changes addressed above, and an electronic business environment that has evolved since FACNET's introduction, the FAR was revised to remove FACNET references and provide the opportunity to recognize the evolution of alternative technologies, processes, etc. that Federal agencies are using and will use to satisfy their acquisition needs without removing the use of FACNET for Federal agencies that may use the system.

References Edit

  1. GSA, A Guide to Planning, Acquiring, and Managing Information Technology Systems, at A-3 (Ver. 1 Dec. 1998) (full-text).

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