By Troy Barnes – March 4, 2019
If you’ve bid on a government contract, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with (and frustrated by) FedBizOpps.gov or FBO.gov — the federal government’s public-facing contracting database. Experienced government contractors have recently begun expressing their frustration with the website, referring to it as clunky and difficult to navigate.
In response to these concerns, the federal government has a planned migration and upgrade scheduled for the end of calendar year 2019. Read on to learn more about the functions FBO.gov serves and what users can expect from this well-deserved upgrade.
What is FBO.gov?
Once prospective federal contractors have completed their System for Award Management (SAM) registration, they’re able to search for and bid on contracts on FBO.gov. This website provides a comprehensive listing of all the federal agency contracts (over $25,000) that are currently available.
In addition to the solicitation’s date, amendments, and a brief description, each listing on FBO.gov includes information on how to respond to the solicitation, the due date, and what information should be included on your application.
Another interesting feature is the ability to view which vendors have expressed interest in certain contracts. By digging deeper into these vendors’ information on their public profile. This searching ability can give you an idea of whether applying for a certain posting is a good idea, just based on vendor size, industry, and capabilities.
But because of the complexity inherent in the government contracting process, the old FBO.gov hasn’t always been easy to navigate. As new capabilities have been added, they haven’t always been seamlessly integrated, resulting in a somewhat patchwork website that takes time to learn. To streamline the government contracting process and open up this website to even more prospective applicants, the federal government is moving to beta.SAM.gov by the end of the year.
What Can Defense Contractors Expect?
Many details of this website upgrade won’t be announced until the second quarter of 2019, but the details that have been leaked so far seem promising. Throughout 2019, different federal agencies will begin the transition process, listing new contracts on beta.SAM.gov. The Wage Determinations Online website (WDOL.gov) is the next agency to perform this migration, and FBO.gov will likely be next.
The revamped website is supported by IBM, which was recently awarded a $24 million, four-year contract to create beta.SAM.gov and assist agencies with the migration process. The new website will be sleeker, easier to navigate, and more secure than ever. Those who are curious about the transition can already poke around on beta.SAM.gov to see what to expect from this new interface.