A new organization created within the General Services Administration (GSA) is starting to bring a little bit more of the 21st century online searching experience to the largest online resource for federal bidding. FedBizOpps is the main source the United States Government posts all the available government contracts to. Currently there are more than 28,000 active federal opportunities located on FedBizOpps and each day it will other rise of lower.
The issue is not in the effectiveness of the enormous database but more in the way to track down the available contracts. FedBizOpps has been extremely useful since its creation and a group that goes by the name of 18F has develop a new prototype for FedBizOpps called FBOpen to make it easier.
FBOpen is simply a resource to access available government opportunities to conduct business with the United States Government. However, now the home page is reduced to one single search bar much like a Google, Yahoo or Bing. At the moment FedBizOpps has a number of different advanced searching styles from small business federal set-asides to geographic location breakdowns. FBOpen breaks it down like a search engine to make it easier for the masses. Sound too good to be true? That is because it is. Right now in perfect world with the concept you should be able to search a trade or word and it will take you to related procurement contracts. That is not the case just yet for FBOpen.
FBOpen is currently more of a great concept idea and less of a replacement by a long shot. In fact, the group 18F is encouraging developers and computer programmers to look at the available open source API file to critique. That is right, the Federal Government much like an Apple or Microsoft online forum or questionnaire board is looking to the people to help find issues with software. Now I will be the last person to say this is a bad thing, but I will not be one of the first to say it is a good thing.
FedBizOpps is an extremely complicated database and according to the GSA’s timeline of actions System for Award Management (SAM) is still planning on absorbing FedBizOpps later this year (which make a very interesting transition). FBOpen is a great idea but seems too good to be true.