The end is near for the worst website in government?

Just two weeks after calling FedBizOpps.gov the WORST WEBSITE in GOVERNMENT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The General Services Administration quietly let those who were paying attention know that the new FBO.gov will migrate to beta.SAM.gov late in calendar year 2019.

Source: GSA IAE website

In the first quarter 2019 Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) digest released last week, GSA’s Vicky Niblett, the deputy assistant commissioner for IAE in the Federal Acquisition Service, wrote, “We’ll be unveiling our newest roadmap and schedule in the second quarter, but we already know that [Wage Determinations Online] WDOL.gov will be the next IAE system to transition into beta.SAM.gov. After that will be FBO.gov, probably sometime in late 2019.”

Wait, that means we have to put up with the 15-year-old site that’s stuck in the 1990s for only a few more months?

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Let’s not put the champagne on ice quite yet, but you know I’m ready to celebrate.

Now after expressing my continued frustration with FBO.gov, a former FAS systems guy tweeted at me reminding that maybe I should use the beta.SAM.gov site.

That’s a fine idea, so over the next few weeks, I will commit to testing out the new site – just like I used FBO.gov – and will report back with an analysis.

In the meantime, Niblett said GSA also will make other changes to beta.SAM.gov, including adding login.gov to the registration process and implementing ‘federal hierarchy,’ which is an internal process through which appropriate roles can be assigned to federal government workers.

In related news, GSA announced that IBM would continue to provide maintenance and migration support for the SAM.gov effort.

The agency awarded IBM a sole source contact worth $24 million over the next four years.

GSA awarded IBM the initial contract in 2010 and experienced some initial challenges with the program. But GSA says in its sole source justification that IBM has delivered good performance.

“During IBM’s eight years of performance on the SAM-AOCS contract, they have gained substantial knowledge of IAE systems. They have repeatedly delivered good performance and have improved over time,” GSA states in the justification. “IBM has gained the most technical knowledge of IAE systems among any source in the marketplace. Additionally, the SAM legacy systems are at the end of their product life and are scheduled to be retired and their functions transferred to the GSA cloud business platform over the next one-to-three years. The timing will depend on funding, completion of new system modules and applications, and the number of hurdles encountered during transition to the new information technology platform. It is considered impractical and risky to have a new contractor step in at this phase of the work, which is in the final steps of a 10-year project. For reasons of continuity during completion of the work, it would not be advantageous to the Government to solicit a new full and open RFP.”

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