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Friday, May 11, 2007   (0 Comments)
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Defense contracting shops continue to line up procurement vehicles tailored to the needs of their IT customers

Defense Department officials in the market for technology products and services don’t have to look far.

Click here for the complete article. (Click here for additional 'Contract Watch' information)

CONTRACT WATCH: CECOM: Rapid Response 2 The Rapid Response program, which the Army Materiel Command’s Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom) administers, provides agencies with a broad range of technology services, from research and development to logistics support to hardware and software fabrication. The catch? A 19- day competitive award process for each task order.

Cecom is expected to have an early recompete issued sometime between the spring and summer of 2007, said John Slye, a senior analyst at Input. "It’s very broad and very popular,” Slye said. "They’re expecting [the current contract] to reach its ceiling soon.”

Slye said the program could have a maximum value of about $23.2 billion in eight years.

— Caron Golden

CONTRACT WATCH: OPTARSS-II: Big may get bigger The Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) is working on the Operations, Planning, Training and Resource Support Services II (OPTARSS-II), a multipleaward, indefinite-delivery, indefinitequantity vehicle. What was already a big program may get bigger.

The program covers services in a number of technology-intensive areas, including modeling and simulation, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence management, and transformation support.

Published reports state that OPTARSS-II is worth $30 billion, but the number only reflects preliminary planning, said Steve Sullivan, director of the Army Contracting Agency’s Southern Region Contracting Center-East, which is working the procurement.

However, Sullivan added that the agency is looking to expand use of the contract from Forscom, for whom the first contract was written, to broader Army use. "Word of mouth has showed us more people have wanted to use this vehicle,” he said.

Because the current vehicle expires in spring 2008, the contracting agency wants to award new contracts by then. But the number of awards is still uncertain.

"The number of awards depends on the results of our market research,” he said. "Any time we do a multiple-award contract, we do market research to gauge support. We’re in that process now with OPTARSS-II.”

Sullivan said the contracting agency is in the process of synthesizing the industry feedback about the management of the first contract. "Part of lessons learned is being applied toward the performance work statement,” he said.

— Caron Golden

CONTRACT WATCH: DISA: More sequels to comeThe Defense Information Systems Agency just announced six awards under its $12.25 billion Encore II Information Technology Solutions vehicle. Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI International, EDS, Lockheed Martin, Science Applications International Corp., and SRA International will be the vendors of the indefinite-delivery, indefinitequantity vehicle, which has a fiveyear baseline and an option for an additional five years. There is no date yet for small-business awards.

Encore II will cover hardware, software, managed services, Web services, communications engineering, computer-telephony integration and other products and services to assist DOD and civilian agency customers with networkcentric operations.

According to the Encore II request for proposals, DISA intends to use the contracts to support users as the agency transitions to another major DISA program, Net- Centric Enterprise Services. Under NCES, DOD is creating a departmentwide Web portal providing access to knowledge databases and collaboration tools.

The agency could award as many as 11 NCES II contracts, although the goal is simply to make "a reasonable amount” of awards, said Evelyn DePalma, director of acquisition, logistics and facilities at DISA.

DISA also recently awarded a contract to Vion for storage capacity on demand. DePalma said that it was developed to speed the agency’s ability to deliver data storage capability while reducing overhead costs. "It also facilitates the agency’s ability to introduce new storage technologies over time to meet the changing requirements” of DOD, she said.

DePalma added that DISA is planning the Defense Information Systems Network Video Services II (DVSII) acquisition as a follow-on to the DISN Video Services-Global contract. She said the DVSII acquisition will provide worldwide network integration with centralized management, adding that there will be a small-business set-aside procurement for the contract.

Finally, DISA anticipates issuing the Air Defense Communications System (ADCS) contract this spring. It will primarily provide management, maintenance, repair and logistics support for several existing communications systems and subsystems through each respective Combined Air Operations Centers.

ADCS supports the Homeland Security Department, Customs and Border Protection agency, Air and Marine Operations Center, Federal Aviation Administration and Airborne Warning and Control System. DePalma said ADCS will be competed as a full and open procurement, and is expected to be firm-fixed-price with one base year and four option years. DISA plans to award the contract by the end of 2007.

— Caron Golden

CONTRACT WATCH: PEO-EIS: Something for everyoneThe Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems is working on a wide range of contracts, including Program Management Support Services 2 (PMSS-2), Information Technology Enterprise Solutions 2 Hardware (ITES- 2H) and Movement Tracking System II (MTS II).

ITES-2H, potentially worth $5 billion in five years, will offer hardware ranging from Unix platforms to Windows servers, in addition to workstations and peripheral devices. The Army will issue as many as five awards, with two reserved for small business. "It’s a solution designed for users who already have a systems integrator but just need hardware,” said, Kevin Carroll, chief of the Army’s PEO-EIS.

PMSS-2, with a value of close to $1 billion for seven to 10 years, will provide PEO-EIS with management support services.

"Our program shops often have only three or four or five government employees. Everyone else is under contract,” Carroll said. PMSS-2, scheduled for a June award, will help program managers manage their programs with acquisition strategies, testing and production contractor oversight, he said.

The Army expects to award five contracts, with three reserved for small businesses, although that could change, Carroll said.

MTS II, worth $400 million in eight years, is a follow-on purchase of satellite-based tracking and communication services and equipment, with the award slated for July 2007. The new contract will offer newer technology. Other services and the British will use it.

Carroll added that his office is reflecting on lessons learned from managing the previous contracts. "ITES got a lot of protests. It was too large. What it meant to industry was that if they didn’t win, they’d be out of the market for a while. So we’ll keep the contracts shorter and less big,” he said. "We also have got to find a way to make decisions on contracts faster. They’re too drawn out.”

— Caron Golden

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