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Robotic process automation in contracting?

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What routinely performed actions can be automated via robotic process automation (RPA)? These are tasks that would be purely administrative/data mining in nature, and automating them would otherwise enhance the CO's ability to perform tasks requiring professional judgment/expertise.

I think data point collection, from forward facing search engines, is suitable for RPA.

For instance, prior to executing an award, I have to review/document findings SAM, FAPIIS, etc. to determine a prospective contractor responsible. But these are data points and can be auto-generated. For instance, imagine if I could e-mail a bot a CAGE code/DUNS number, and then receive via reply a PDF package recording entity info.

This gives time back lost in information retrieval.

What are other tasks that saturate us, and can be permanently automated via RPA?

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RPA has potential but combined with AI, it’s much more beneficial.  One big thing I can see for RPA is preparing delivery orders for IDIQ supply contracts.  For example a program office needs ten laptops.  The req gets converted to a delivery order and the CO just needs to apply an electronic signature.  Award data gets sent to FPDS too.

Combine with AI and the solicitation gets prepared, the notice of solicitation availability goes to SAM, and the solicitation gets posted for downloading by interested sources.  A CO may not even see the solicitation until it’s released.  The most commonly acquired supplies and services all might go this way.  

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I like to heard more about Routine Performed Actions (RPA). To be honest this is the first time I read about it and question why our offices DOD offices are not using sometime like that?  I agree with formerfed; it makes complete sense from an IDIQ point of view.

Is RAP also being used by DOD? 

 

ROD

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Validating stuff from external sources - (SAM.GOV).

Compliance reviews

Organizing, preparing contract file & documentation.

Routine correspondence.

Automating contract writing - checking boxes, adding boilerplate T&C, etc.

Acquisition planning - esp. filling out technical documents or forms.

All the back-office purchase card stuff.

 

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I happen to know that IRS is using RPA for responsibility determinations. They can send an email with the company details and 10 minutes later they get a comprehensive report back to evaluate. By their own admission it was previously taking them 2+ hours. Various corners of DoD are looking into it too. We've identified a few applications, including the responsibility determinations and to assist us with data mining/dashboards utilizing APIs from the business systems. We don't currently have the resources to implement, but it's on my wish list.

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IRS has made real good progress.  https://federalnewsnetwork.com/automation/2019/09/irs-procurement-shop-sees-rpa-as-key-to-handle-growing-year-end-workload-with-shrinking-workforce/  IRS has several pilots with demonstrable results.   

Joanie says HHS is doing things too but know nothing more about what results they had https://www.fedhealthit.com/2019/05/procurement-chiefs-are-watching-the-spread-of-rpa-at-hhs-and-other-agencies/

GSA is experimenting too but nothing like IRS or HHS is showing real live things to people.  DoD also has good outcomes but they are reluctant to show much until senior management blesses the concept.  

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