Federal News Network: IRS procurement shop develops web app to predict contract spending

“The IRS, among other things, obligates $2.5 billion a year in contract spending. Strangely, one of the most common yet important questions in the contracting process is really hard to answer: When will a contract actually be signed by a contracting officer? Now the IRS procurement shop has developed a web app that produces a prediction. For how they did it and why it matters, Federal Drive with Tom Temin turned to the Director of Analytics Research and Technology in the Chief Procurement Office, Alicia Miller…”

“Tom Temin: … If a vendor were to call and say, what does the crystal ball that you have say about the contract? You can tell them? That’s okay?

Alicia Miller: Well, we can tell them the prediction. Obviously, with any data, there’s going to be a range. And so right now we have looking at the data nearly 90% predictive accuracy for within 30 days. So this is not going to say, here’s going to be the exact date, there’s going to be a range, but we can give you this ballpark.

Tom Temin: And what about delays and appropriations, which is pretty much routine now for Congress in the government, does that play into when something can be signed? Because that does obligate funds, and you can’t really do that without an appropriation it gets into the whole legal and anti deficiency business. Is that part of the equation here?

Alicia Miller: That’s not one of the factors that we include in the model, but that is certainly a consideration. For our purposes, we’d expect a lot of the contract request would come in with appropriate funding, so it would come in after we do have our side budget, the money is available and then we move forward with the process…” Read the full interview here.

Source: IRS procurement shop develops web app to predict contract spending – By Tom Temin, June 9, 2021. Federal News Network.

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