FedBizOpps switched to a new system on April 1st and that system had some serious problems, which I reported to the FBO team and posted here on the blog. Last week I got a call from someone at FBO about this bug report and post, and the feedback is very encouraging! Here’s what I was told (but haven’t independently confirmed yet):
1. Usernames and passwords e‑mailed in plain text: This has now been fixed. Apparently some early adopters in government wanted usernames and passwords to be transmitted this way but they are now using a different method.
2. Registration requires MPIN: FedTeds housed secure files before, and it requires an MPIN. In my view, this should have been more clearly explained on FBO but at least it makes more sense now.
3. Opportunities appear as blocks of text: This happened as a consequence of moving data from the old system to the new. Most recent postings now have paragraph breaks, better formatting, and so on. (The text is still incredibly small on my screen but can be changed in one’s own browser. Annoying but not catastrophic.)
4. Printing opportunities: There is now a “Print Version” button which yields a nicely-formatted version of the opportunity. Much better!
Some annoyances remain. For example, I get a daily digest of all posted opportunities e‑mailed to me. I go through that e‑mail and open links to all of the opportunities that appear of interest to me, logging in to FBO as I do so. If I take too long to review those links, however, my login timeout expires and the opened pages revert to the FBO log-in screen!
Te unannounced switch to this new FBO, which — I still maintain — was not ready for primetime, was incredibly frustrating for many users like me (I know because my blog posting yielded many calls on this issue!). However, as a commenter on the original blog post noted, transitions do take time and things have already improved. It’s clear that the FBO team is taking bug reports and other feedback seriously, and seeking to improve the site. They should be congratulated for that, and I for one intend to support them in this endeavor by continuing to file bug reports whenever I find cause!