Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., enjoys a protected and profitable monopoly on government contracting data. Taxpayers aren’t allowed to download information about how their money is being spent unless they pay Dun & Bradstreet.
But, as a new round of commentary submitted to the General Services Administration shows, the tech industry wants to end it.
The GSA pays Dun & Bradstreet to assign a unique identification code to every company that has, or seeks, a contract with the federal government. Every contractor or new contractor must register with Dun & Bradstreet and be assigned a Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS Number. (The system is used to identify federal grantees, too.)
Under the GSA’s current agreement with Dun & Bradstreet, the DUNS Number remains Dun & Bradstreet’s property – and Dun & Bradstreet charges taxpayers for access.
Here is why this monopoly is a bad deal for the government, taxpayers, and contractors too – and how it might finally end.
“You must click here for very important D&B information”
Dun & Bradstreet charges taxpayers for access to its property. If you visit the federal government’s spending transparency website, USASpending.gov – the main public source for information about government contracts and contractors – you’ll notice a prominent disclaimer at the very top.
Continue reading the Data Coalition's latest blog here.