MAR 16 1992

HCO MEMO 92- 23

MEMORANDUM FOR Heads of Contracting Offices
FROM: Robert A. Welch
Director, Office of Procurement
SUBJECT: Departmental Review of Automated Procurement Systems and Applications

As discussed during the recent procurement conference, I have directed the establishment of a Department-wide integrated automated procurement system. That system will be fully compatible with the Department's Core Financial System, which is scheduled for initial implementation in October 1994. During the course of the discussion of the integrated procurement system, a number of concerns were expressed regarding the current state of a number of the existing procurement systems, and the need to continue to maintain those systems prior to implementing an integrated system.

The Department is committed to such a maintenance policy and we will continue to consider any interim changes to those systems on a case by case basis. It is essential, however, that all such changes be strictly controlled, both before and after the establishment of the integrated system. In accordance with Department Organization order 20-26, dated March 22, 1990, the Procurement Management Division (PMD) is responsible for reviewing and approving all proposed changes or additions to existing automated procurement systems, as well as the acquisition of any additional systems. All such proposed changes or acquisitions should therefore be submitted directly to that organization to ensure their prompt attention.

We are currently in the process of revising the CAR to include instructions for submission of changes and additions to the automated procurement system(s). Pending issuance of that revision, the attached interim guidance should be followed. Questions regarding this matter should be addressed to your designated PMD desk officer.


(a) In accordance with Department Organization Order 20-26, Bureaus shall obtain approval from the Chief, Procurement Management Division, Office of Procurement, Department of Commerce, prior to developing, obtaining, or altering any automated procurement system or application or any portion thereof.

(b) No funds may be expended towards obtaining or altering any automated procurement system or application thereof prior to obtaining the approval cited in paragraph (a), above.

(c) Requests for approval cited in paragraph (a) shall address, at a minimum, all of the following considerations. In the event that any consideration is not applicable, so state:

(1) Background and Purpose. Give the name of the system, its purpose and use(s), and the planned date of implementation. Include information about any existing system, manual or automated, the proposed system or change will replace. Indicate the problem the system will address or the improvement it will provide.

(2) Integration. Describe anticipated integration requirements. What system(s) will the proposed system interface with? Include systems outside of procurement.

(3) Configuration. Provide the data elements to be included in the system and the anticipated hardware and software application and/or programming language to be used. Describe any telecommunications requirement.

(4) Standards. Indicate the standards, such as American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards to be used for data transfer.

(5) Security. Describe the security measures planned to safeguard unauthorized access to the system or unauthorized use of electronic signature, certification, or other approval reserved for designated officials.

(6) Acquisition Method and Estimated Cost. Indicate whether the system or change is to be developed in-house or acquired by contract. If to be acquired by contract, indicate the planned extent of competition and/or set-asides. Indicate the estimated cost, listing development and maintenance costs separately. For planned in-house acquisitions, indicate the staff years and estimated cost for development and maintenance.

(7) Survey of Existing Systems. Describe the extent to which other bureaus have been canvassed for availability of systems or information that could assist in the design or planning of the contemplated system or change. Discuss any efforts made to utilize existing systems or applications, and include an account of the reasons such efforts were unsuccessful.

(8) Risk. Discuss the risk(s) involved with the planned acquisition or change and the measures planned to mitigate or eliminate that risk.

(9) Applicability. Indicate the extent to which the planned system or change will be applicable and available to other DOC Bureaus.

(10) Information Resources Management Concurrence. The package must include a statement indicating the review of and concurrence with the proposed change by the IRM Senior Official at the local operating unit.

(11) Contact Person. Provide the name and telephone number of the person in the procurement office to contact for additional information.

(d) Additional guidance regarding the acquisition of information systems hardware, software, and services is provided by the Department of Commerce Information Technology Management Handbook.