The Army has invited 17 companies to compete for a piece of its $20 billion information technology services contract.
The contract, known as Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2, is expected to be awarded by the end of June.
Barbara J. Trujillo, an Army contracting officer, recently sent letters to each of the 17 companies, notifying them that the Army had reviewed its corporate qualification package and found it "a viable, potential prime contractor" for the project.
Initially, the Army invited any interested company to submit a qualification package as part of the process for narrowing the field of bidders.
Trujillo's letter "means we think you know what we want, so you have a good chance of winning," said Col. Tom Hogan, an Army deputy program executive officer for enterprise information systems. And the message to companies that did not get the affirmative letters, Hogan said: "We don't think you have a good chance of winning, so we're trying to [spare you] the bid and proposal costs."
He added that these companies could submit bids anyway once the Army releases a request for proposals in April.
ITES-2 is a follow-on contract to the original $500-million ITES program, Army officials said. Some of the services the Army is seeking include business process re-engineering, systems and network integration, application development, and systems security.
The service needs the new contract because it is rapidly approaching the ceiling for the first contract, Hogan said.
The products and services contract will run for nine years, and the Army expects to award eight contracts, four to large businesses and four to businesses having 1,500 employees or fewer. Then the companies will compete with each other for work assignments under the contract.
David E. Gardner, senior vice president of business development for one of the companies, STG Inc. of Reston, said his company's background with performance-based contracting helped it secure a spot on the list of 17 companies.
Dawn S. Onley is a senior writer with Government Computer News. For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to www.gcn.com.