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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 648-94
November 18, 1994

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OPENS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE OFFICE AND ELECTRONIC COMMERCE INFORMATION CENTER

Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Noel Longuemare participated today in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the Department of Defense Electronic Commerce Information Center and Electronic Commerce Office. Also in attendance was Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Reform Colleen Preston and Director for Electronic Commerce Delores "Dee" Smith.

"Today formally activates an initial capability to enable the DoD and it's trading partners to electronically exchange standardized small purchase information while moving closer to the Department's goal of eliminating costly, paper-based contracting procedures," said Longuemare.

The mission of the Electronic Information Center will be to provide an on-going analysis of the DoD electronic, small purchase transaction data while simultaneously serving as an information/technical support clearinghouse for defense agencies and trading partners.

The Electronic Commerce Office will provide a leadership role that will insure that DoD complies with the President's mandate to complete government-wide implementation of electronic commerce for appropriate federal purchases to the maximum extent possible by January 1997. In fact, DoD's goals are to complete its implementation by January 1996.

The Electronic Commerce Office will operate under the direction of Ms. Smith, who earlier led the Process Action Team that analyzed the DoD's existing capacity for electronic commerce in contracting and proposed a two year implementation plan that would expand that capability throughout DoD.

The plan establishes procedures for implementing an EDI-enabling infrastructure for DoD's small purchase procurement functions that presents a "single face to industry." Through this infrastructure, all electronic business transactions will be exchanged with all contractors interested in conducting business with the government in the same format regardless of the Federal agency originating the transaction, merely by accessing a single entry point. The results of the process "look" the same to all of the government's contractors even though the processes themselves may be different.

"This automated exchange of business information will revolutionize the way in which DOD and it's contractors do business. We now have training programs and support services in place to help Military Services, Defense Agencies, Federal Agencies and training partners participate in the DoD on-line process. Clearly, the services provided by the information center will be in high demand as the DoD pushes for full, department-wide implementation by January 1996," said Ms. Smith.

In commenting upon the Department's EC implementation efforts, Ms. Smith said, "I believe our Information Center for DoD, when extended to cover all Federal agencies, will provide another link in that critical single face to industry that all of us have been working towards. We look forward to our role in supporting DoD and the entire Federal government. We are extremely excited about the prospects for the future and hope that industry will immediately jump at this opportunity to simplify the way it does business with the federal government."

Potential contractors wishing to know more about registering or obtaining access should contact the DoD Electronic Commerce Information Center at 1-800-EDI-3414. For further information on these initiatives, please contact Ms. Jan Menker at the Electronic Commerce Office, (703) 681-0207.

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