The Office of Management and Budget indicated at a recent DATA Coalition summit that they will conduct an alternatives analysis to the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, which the federal government has used through a contract with the company Dun & Bradstreet.
This month a wealth of data detailing stimulus and Hurricane Sandy spending disappeared from the website recovery.gov. The Recovery Accountability Transparency Board says it can’t afford to renew its contract with Dun & Bradstreet for use of its Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). Yet, businesses that receive federal funds are identified solely by DUNS. There is no alternative for where the government gets that data and Dun & Bradstreet controls how it is used. Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project On Government Oversight, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the matter.
For decades, the General Services Administration has contracted with the company Dun & Bradstreet to provide unique identifying numbers for businesses. These numbers — called Data Universal Numbering System or DUNS numbers — allow GSA to track contractors and other recipients of federal funds. But the cost of using this service has grown from $1 million in 2002 to about $19 million per year under the current contract.