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U.S. unveils online bidding tool

People bidding on government projects have a new way to request and issue quotes online, which means no more faxes or e-mail.

People bidding on government projects have a new way to request and issue quotes online.

The e-Buy tool, launched Wednesday, is part of the General Services Administration's newly designed online catalog, known as Advantage. The new tool is aimed at federal buyers who purchase services or large quantities of products under the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts.

Under the old system, buyers submitted requests for quotes through e-mail or fax to a select group of sellers. The new system will let buyers post requests online, where they will be available to MAS vendors. The federal government spent more than $20 billion on goods and services through the MAS program in fiscal 2001.

"GSA is committed to ensuring that agencies are well-positioned to obtain the products and services they need from the commercial marketplace," GSA Administrator Stephen A. Perry said in a release. "E-Buy makes use of modern technology to provide an efficient and effective tool which enables federal buyers to interact with the commercial marketplace and obtain (the) best-value solutions for their operations."

IT services company Unisys helped the GSA develop the new system, with technology from BroadVision, Sybase and Verity.