I am trying to learn more about a particular piece of software used to submit forms to a US federal agency. I have a 'procurement document number' sometimes also called an 'award ID'. Using this number I can locate a minimal amount of information about the contract at FPDS.gov and usaspending.gov. This information shows that the contract is an open-bid, only received one bid, the name of the bidder/contractor, and payments made. I want to learn more about the details of the RFP, the bids, and any deliverables.

My goal is to learn the details of a procurement. The software in question is horrendously bad, developed in 2014 with something that would be unacceptable in 1995. Constant delays, outages, and obvious inefficiencies.

How can I jump from the procurement number to more detailed information?

Is this readily available or must I make a FOIA demand?

I am intentionally not including the number. I want to learn how to jump from any number to more meaningful information in general. That generic skill will get me the info I want for this task as well as other tasks.

  • are you by chance talking about healthcare.gov? Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 3:49
  • Commercial in Confidence may prevent you learning too much of the details, particularly before anything has been awarded
    – user7754
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 4:24
  • @SamIam - No this is a much smaller system. It is a replacement of paper tax forms with electronic submissions to an agency not the IRS. I am being vague as I don't want the project at hand to distract from my general question
    – Freiheit
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 13:21
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    I would love a concrete answer to this as well Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 18:25
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    When I am dealing with older issues like this I have found what sometimes works is to put the title of the document, the ID numbers, and year I am searching for into Google. There is an archive function in the government databases, but , it is not as efficient as Google, and when searching for something specific like that Google eliminates the normal stuff the algorithm would normally pull on, because not many people use it that way. Also remember to use .gov as a keyword. Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


This answer is untimely, but below are the relevant sites, at the Federal level, and Municipal level (for at least some States). Various award (or other) IDs are included on the various sites, but there seems to be no consistency on either.



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