Bits & Bytes
SELLING TO THE FEDS? THESE DISKS SAVE FORESTS
The U.S. government is the world's biggest buyer of information-technology gear. But as Vice-President Al Gore has highlighted as part of the National Performance Review, bureaucratic red tape, paperwork, and convoluted procurement policies swell the costs of government and of doing business with it. Now, a new set of CD-ROMs may smooth that process. Called Fedtrax and available on a subscription basis for $7,000, the disks let technology sellers quickly search through information about more than 400,000 recent technology contracts, as well as budget data, regulations affecting acquisitions, and back issues of Federal Computer Week, a trade newspaper.
Co-developed by IDC Government, a publisher in Falls Church, Va., and Eagle Eye Publishers, in Vienna, Va., Fedtrax replaces what would otherwise be a roomful of paper documents. Updated monthly, each edition will reflect changes to the technology-procurement process--including any that may stem from Gore's plan to streamline government.EDITED BY EVAN I. SCHWARTZ