Thanks for allowing me a second crack at this. I think I have some
good sources of information that will come in handy for your work.
Finding out about work being done -- or about to be done -- for the
federal government is a two-sided coin.
One the one hand, an incredible amount of information is made publicly
available, so that an enormous amount of detail can sometimes be
uncovered about who is doing what, how much they?re paid for it, and
what, exactly, they are up to.
On the other hand, the information is embedded in systems that are
incredibly arcane, written in language that is unbelievably obscure,
and made public through a variety of sources that are not always easy
Let?s start with Federal Business Opportunities, usually known simply as FBO:
This is the federal government?s semi-successful attempt to
consolidate an awful lot of its contracting and procurement activities
under one cyber-roof. As they say themselves:
?FedBizOpps.gov is the single government point-of-entry (GPE) for
Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000. Government
buyers are able to publicize their business opportunities by posting
information directly to FedBizOpps via the Internet. Through one
portal - FedBizOpps (FBO) - commercial vendors seeking Federal markets
for their products and services can search, monitor and retrieve
opportunities solicited by the entire Federal contracting community.?
From what I can tell, not all agencies/departments are yet using FBO,
but still, there?s a ton and half of information here.
You?ll notice in the upper left hand part of the page, a button next
to ?Find Business Opportunities?. Clicking here takes you to a search
I searched on [ Rucker Army ] to see what was happening at Fort
Rucker, and under ?Documents to Search? selected ?Both? to get current
as well as older materials. The search returned seven pages of
business activities, but none (as far as I saw) pertaining to flight
Of course, many other searches are possible, including a direct search
on ?flight records? or similar terms. Play around to see what you
come up with.
Another FBO-related site worth knowing about is FBO Daily, a
private-sector site, at:
You can conduct similar sorts of searches here (and lo and behold,
they sometimes come up with different results than the official
government site, so it?s worth checking). Also take note of their
subscription offer...if you sign up, you can arrange for automatic
email notification. As soon as new material appears that contain your
search terms, you?ll be automatically notified.
Another important resource -- also a private company -- is FindRFP at:
As the name suggests, they concentrate on newly-issued RFP?s, not only
from the feds, but from states as well. Try a search here on ?flight
records? (include the quote marks) -- you?ll get some interesting
FindRFP also offers automatic notifications. You can sign up for a
free trial before deciding whether to subscribe or not.
Prior to FBO, the government issued a journal known as Commerce
Business Daily. Although now defunct, it is still a useful source of
archived information about contracts issued a few years back (many of
which may still be active).
You can search CBD at:
The military is such a giant issuer of contracts that they have a
number of their own resources to be aware of, in addition to those
that Byrd-ga already alerted you to.
For instance, there is the contractor registration page for many of
DoD?s contractors at:
Typing in a company name in the box labeled ?Legal Business Name or
DBA? will return a lot of information, if they?re in the database.
For instance, a search on Cobro gets you a lot of info on the company,
including names, addresses, phone numbers and other information for
contracting points of contact in Alabama.
There is also a lot of guidance material available for doing business
with the government. Here is a DoD page for small businesses on
?Doing Business with DoD?:
with a ?ten step? program for contracting success,
and here is a similar site put together by the US Small Business
Agency that is more broadly geared towards doing business will all
aspects of the federal government:
Note, about a third of the way down the page, the list of links to
Army procurment centers, including the Redstone link to AMCOM that
Byrd-ga mentioned earlier:
One last item to be aware of. I conducted a Google ?site search? at Redstone:
to look for Cobro, and came up with the following:
Item #291 on this page shows an SAIC contract that lists Cobro as a
sub-contractor. Could this be the flight records activity? The list
doesn?t provide enough detail....but it could be! The contract number
is shown as:
and a simple Google search on this number turns up the following:
?Science Applications International Group, Pacific Technology Services
Division, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a delivery order amount
of $1,802,193 as part of a $9,942,111 indefinite quantity, task
order/with option provisions contract for Omnibus 2000 technical
support entitled "Systems and Computer Resources Support". Services
are in support of the Software Engineering Directorate, Aviation and
Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center. Work will be
performed at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and is expected to be completed
by April 25, 2005. There were five bids solicited on Aug. 7, 2000, and
four bids were received. The U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command,
Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity
What do you think?
This is all a great, big, ugly morass, to be sure. But as you
doubtless know, it can be a very rewarding morass to wade into. I
hope these tools will assist you in that effort, and I wish you the
best of luck.
If there?s anything additional I can do for you here -- or if anything
I?ve written is not clear -- just let me know and I?ll be glad to help
search strategy: Used personal bookmarks pertaining to federal