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Memorandum on Streamlining Procurement Through Electronic Commerce

October 26, 1993

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies [and] the President's Management Council

The Federal Government spends $ 200 billion annually buying goods and services. Unfortunately, the red tape and burdensome paperwork of the current procurement system increases costs, produces unnecessary delays, and reduces Federal work force productivity. Moving to an electronic commerce system to simplify and streamline the purchasing process will promote customer service and cost-effectiveness. The electronic exchange of acquisition information between the private sector and the Federal Government also will increase competition by improving access to Federal contracting opportunities for the more than 300,000 vendors currently doing business with the Government, particularly small businesses, as well as many other vendors who find access to bidding opportunities difficult under the current system. For these reasons, I am committed to fundamentally altering and improving the way the Federal Government buys goods and services by ensuring that electronic commerce is implemented for appropriate Federal purchases as quickly as possible.

1. Objectives.

The objectives of this electronic commerce initiative are to:

(a) exchange procurement information-such as solicitations, offers, contracts, purchase orders, invoices, payments, and other contractual documents-electronically between the private sector and the Federal Government to the maximum extent practical;

(b) provide businesses, including small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses, with greater access to Federal procurement opportunities;

(c) ensure that potential suppliers are provided simplified access to the Federal Government's electronic commerce system;

(d) employ nationally and internationally recognized data formats that serve to broaden and ease the electronic interchange of data; and

(e) use agency and industry systems and networks to enable the Government and potential suppliers to exchange information and access Federal procurement data.

2. Implementation.

The President's Management Council, in coordination with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy of the Office of Management and Budget, and in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies with applicable technical and functional expertise, as necessary, shall provide overall leadership, management oversight, and policy direction to implement electronic commerce in the executive branch through the following actions:

(a) by March 1994, define the architecture for the Government-wide electronic commerce acquisition system and identify executive departments or agencies responsible for developing, implementing, operating, and maintaining the Federal electronic system;

(b) by September 1994, establish an initial electronic commerce capability to enable the Federal Government and private vendors to electronically exchange standardized requests for quotations, quotes, purchase orders, and notice of awards and begin Government-wide implementation;

(c) by July 1995, implement a full scale Federal electronic commerce system that expands initial capabilities to include electronic payments, document interchange, and supporting databases; and

(d) by January 1997, complete Government-wide implementation of electronic commerce for appropriate Federal purchases, to the maximum extent possible.

This implementation schedule should be accelerated where practicable.

The head of each executive department or agency shall:

(a) ensure that budgetary resources are available, within approved budget levels, for electronic commerce implementation in each respective department or agency;

(b) assist the President's Management Council in implementing the electronic commerce system as quickly as possible in accordance with the schedules established herein; and

(c) designate one or more senior level employees to assist the President's Management Council and serve as a point of contact for the development and implementation of the Federal electronic commerce system within each respective department or agency.

3. No Private Rights Created.

This directive is for the internal management of the executive branch and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.



Washington, October 26, 1993.

Editorial note: For the President's remarks on signing this memorandum, see issue 43 of the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

William J. Clinton, Memorandum on Streamlining Procurement Through Electronic Commerce Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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