Since the 2014 implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), the nation’s first open data law, federal agencies have been busy focusing on ways to make data even more transparent throughout the federal space. GSA is heavily involved in these activities, and we are very excited to announce a huge step forward in the goal to make data more accessible and readily available across government.
Currently, all contracts, grants, loans and other spending activity reported in GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) is tied to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) information. We have partnered with D&B since the 1970s, and this longstanding relationship for data collection has supported responsible award decisions using taxpayer dollars as well as provided insights into federal government spending. GSA and D&B recently renegotiated our contract to incorporate an important change to the way the federal government is able to use the proprietary D&B data obtained through the IAE systems.
Previously, the data collected could only be used for a narrowly defined “acquisition purpose,” greatly restricting the use of all D&B-related information. Our recently renegotiated contract changes that. Now, D&B information can be used for other activities, like compiling research of historical procurement information and conducting trend analysis. There are still some restrictions on the amount of data available for public consumption, but the government’s use of the information is no longer restrained. We expect the expansion of these data rights to assist agencies in making better-informed, data-driven decisions as they strive to meet their missions.
What are the key contractual changes?
- Expanded Use for Federal Government eliminates barriers of use within government for D&B-sourced data distributed by the IAE, opening up data use to any federal agency for their business analysis purposes
- Perpetual Retention eliminates the requirement to remove D&B-sourced content from government systems if another party takes over D&B’s support role, eliminating a potentially enormous costly and burdensome transitional challenge
- Commercial Re-use allows third-parties to access and use a subset of D&B data for commercial use
This significant contract renegotiation was no easy feat, and GSA commends D&B leadership for their dedication to decisions that are good for government and good for the American taxpayer.
In addition, today GSA, DoD, and NASA published a regulatory rule removing proprietary D&B references in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). By removing references to specific identifiers, the FAR change removes any policy requirements regarding who can provide key services to the federal government.
These two actions lay the foundation for the next steps in analyzing alternatives to support the continued integrity of the federal procurement process, increase transparency, and open competition.