GAO Report on Electronic Submissions in Federal Procurement: Implementation by the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) and the Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Reclamation's (Bureau) Mission-Related Contracting and Procurement Systems:

The Corps and Bureau use procurement systems owned and operated by their parent organizations and these systems are used to award contracts for a variety of projects. The Corps, a component of the Department of the Army in the Department of Defense, is the world's largest public engineering, design, and construction management agency, and does work in the area of water resources and infrastructure, such as navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, hydropower, and water supply, among other things. At the Corps, the Directorate of Contracting is responsible for all aspects of contracting. In fiscal year 2014, the Corps reportedly obligated $17 billion for the acquisition of the goods and services it needs to carry out its mission.

The Corps issues all solicitations electronically using the Army Single Face to Industry portal. This portal is the U.S. Army's designated site to host all Army contracting opportunities and is the repository for solicitations, amendments, and drawings. All Army contracting activities, including those of the Corps, are required to issue solicitations electronically that are linked to the Federal Business Opportunities website [hyperlink, http://www.FedBizOpps.gov], which redirects to [hyperlink, https://www.fbo.gov].The portal receives solicitation and contract award data electronically from multiple systems, including the Standard Procurement System, a procurement system used for acquisition planning and contract award and monitoring. The Standard Procurement System provides automated, strategic, streamlined, contract management support and is the single automated system to perform all contract management-related functions. It is owned by the Department of Defense (Defense) and is under the management of the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy. 

The Department of the Interior's contract writing system, called the Financial and Business Management System (FBMS), is used by all of the department's bureaus and offices, including the Bureau. According to officials, FBMS is based on two main software products the SAP financial and property management system and CompuSearch PRISM. The Bureau converted to FBMS in fiscal year 2014 and uses it for its acquisition management functions. Officials added that, currently, when a statement of work or product specification(s) is developed and funding has been identified, the program office is to create a purchase request in FBMS. When the purchase request has been approved, the funds are to be committed in the system. The approved request is to go to the contracting office via electronic workflow for procurement, and is to be assigned by a manager to a contract specialist or contracting officer. The contract specialist or contracting officer is to work in PRISM to prepare the necessary public announcement and solicitation documents for transmission through FedConnect.net, a web portal, to, according to officials, enable paperless contracting, and then to FedBizOpps.gov, as required. After award, the contractor is to submit an invoice to the Department of the Treasury's Invoice Processing Platform, which is linked to FBMS. On receipt of the goods or services, the program office is required to complete a goods receipt or a service entry sheet in FBMS to document acceptance. Once approved, the invoice is processed in FBMS for payment.

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