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FEDLINK Information Alert 2004-2

TO: FEDLINK Customers

FROM: Susan M. Tarr, Executive Director, FLICC

SUBJECT: Direct Express Option(s) in Fiscal Year 2004

After a successful year-long pilot of FEDLINK's Direct Express option,
FEDLINK has expanded the program to more than 90 percent of its online
services vendors. Similar to making a purchase using the GSA schedule,
FEDLINK customers can place orders directly with online services vendors
via the Direct Express option. Under this streamlined purchasing
process, products and service offerings will be as comprehensive as
always--electronic database publications, document delivery services,
associated print publications and specialized access options.

Revolving Fund Establishes Authority for Direct Express

Under Section 103 of  P.L. 106-481 (2 U.S.C. 182c), which established
FEDLINK as a revolving fund beginning in Fiscal Year 2002, FEDLINK can
provide "the procurement of commercial information services,
publications in any format, and library support services,...related
accounting services,...related education, information and support
services" to federal offices and to other organizations entitled to use
federal sources of supply. In addition to interagency transfers for
Transfer Pay services, FEDLINK can now accept fees from federal agencies
that have "passed through" a vendor and have been earned for
facilitating federal  purchasing, i.e., the vendors pay the FEDLINK
administrative fees.

To establish this option, FEDLINK negotiated indefinite delivery
indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts on a sole source basis with online
services vendors. An IDIQ allows the government to place orders for an
indefinite quantity of commercially available supplies or services
during a fixed period.

Place the Order Directly With the Vendor

With Direct Express, customers simply cite the FEDLINK contract number
on their agency's purchase order and send it straight to the vendor. No
synopsis nor further competition is required on purchases over $25,000
as the FEDLINK IDIQ establishes the vendors as sole source for their
individual products and services. When comparing two vendors with
similar databases, customers may want to compare prices or choose a
vendor based upon their interface.

The vendor receives the purchase order, sets up the customer's account
and promptly issues passwords and/or authorization numbers. The vendor
will then invoice the FEDLINK customer directly against their agency's
purchase order. The customer's agency finance office pays the invoice
(and any interest penalties) and reports disbursements to the customer.
FEDLINK does not issue statements of account for Direct Express
purchases.

The vendor pays the FEDLINK fee based on the volume of quarterly sales
of Direct Express customers. Direct Express customers are responsible
for initiating the purchase, managing delivery of the products and
services, and paying invoices.

Online Services Vendors Now Participate in Direct Express

More than 40 online services vendors have contracts with FEDLINK to
accept Direct Express orders. (See the list below.) Last summer, FEDLINK
staff issued a new request for proposal from these vendors and added the
Direct Express option to their contracts. These same vendors are also
available under Transfer Pay mode but are no longer available through
the FEDLINK Direct Pay option.

Vendors Participating in the Direct Express Option In Addition to
Transfer Pay with Contract #s

* BrightPlanet, Corp.--LOC04C-7040
* Cambridge Scientific--LOC04C-7010
* ChoicePoint, Inc.--LOC04C-7058
* Columbia University Press--LOC04C-7046
* Congressional Quarterly--LOC04C-7011
* CQ Press--LOC04C-7013
* CRIBIS Corporation--LOC04C-7049
* Dialog Corporation--LOC04C-7019
* Dun & Bradstreet--LOC04C-7018
* East View Information.--LOC04C-7030
* EBSCO Publishing--03CSFC70101
* Economist Intelligence Unit, N. A.--LOC04C-7023
* Economy.com, Inc.--LOC04C-7002
* Elsevier - MD Consult--LOC04C-7050
* Fastcase.com, Inc.--LOC04C-7014
* Gale Group--03CSFC70102
* Global Insight--LOC04C-7008
* H. W. Wilson--LOC04C-7035
* I.S.I.--LOC04C-7041
* InfoUSA--LOC04C-7005
* Inside Washington Publishers--LOC04C-7003
* Investigation Technologies (formerly Rapsheets.com)--LOC04C-7020
* Jane's Information Group--LOC04C-7037
* JSTOR--LOC04C-7043
* Knovel Corporation--LOC03C-7031
* LexisNexis / LexisNexis CourtLink--03CSFC70103
* LRP Publications--LOC04C-7060
* Market Research.com--LOC04C-7015
* Moreover Technologies--LOC03C-7051
* netLibrary, Inc.--LOC04C-7048
* NewsBank, Inc.--LOC04C-7009
* OECD--LOC04C-7006
* Ovid Technologies, Inc.--LOC04C-7038
* Periscope (United Communications Group)--LOC04C-7001
* Peterson's Guides--LOC04C-7044
* Press Association--LOC04C-7012
* ProQuest Information and Learning Co.--03CSFC70104
* Questel/Orbit--LOC04C-7059
* Research Libraries Group--LOC04C-7053
* RIA (Research Institute of America)--LOC04C-7042
* Serials Solutions--LOC04C-7032
* Standard & Poor's--LOC04C-7034
* Tax Analysts--LOC04C-7056
* TD Net--LOC04C-7054
* The Library Corp. (TLC)--LOC04C-7025
* UnCover Co. DBA Ingenta--LOC04C-7036
* West Publishing Corp.--03CSFC70105
* World Bank--LOC04C-7055

Transfer Pay Option Offers Customers More Account Options

As cost effective as Direct Express is, most current members will
continue to prefer transfer pay mode, which offers them more flexibility
in managing their funds and provides more assistance with procurement
processes.

Under the Transfer Pay option, customers transfer both FEDLINK
administrative fees and estimated annual service dollars to
FEDLINK/Library of Congress (LC) via a signed Interagency Agreement
(IAG), purchase order, or MIPR. On behalf of the customer, LC/Contracts
issues a delivery order to the vendor in the amount specified on the
IAG. After receiving the delivery order, the vendor provides service to
the customer and submits the customer's invoices to FEDLINK. FEDLINK
reviews the invoices, rejects improper ones, and pays acceptable ones
from the customer's account. FEDLINK sends the customer copies of
rejected invoices, paid invoices, and a monthly statement of account.

If there are surplus funds in one vendor account, an amendment form can
conveniently move these funds to another needed service.

Another major benefit of Transfer Pay is extended order deadlines.
Instead of having to fulfill a member's order either by providing
services or by issuing delivery orders to vendors prior to the end of
the fiscal year, before their funds expire, FEDLINK is able to accept
signed IAGs with firm orders late in September every year and generate
delivery orders well into October. In addition, FEDLINK is also
authorized to accept IAGs and amendments by fax, pending receipt of
originals via courier service or mail. This reduces the lead time
necessary to add funds to purchase information products and services at
the end of the fiscal year.

More Information Is Available

For questions on Direct Express, contact FEDLINK Network Operations by
phone at (202) 707-4848 or by email to [log in to unmask] For assistance
with your current accounts, please call the FEDLINK Fiscal Hotline at
(202) 707-4900.