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Alliant IT Contract Spans Big Names

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The government named 29 companies yesterday as potential recipients of a $50 billion, 10-year information technology contract.

The winners of the contract, known as Alliant, spanned the government-contracting community, from large defense firms like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics to mid-tier players like Booz Allen Hamilton and CACI International.

Under the deal, the contractors are now qualified to compete for individual government information technology projects, which could include writing computer software and building computer networks. The contract winners are guaranteed only $2,500 in work, but there is no upper limit on the size of the contracts, according to the General Services Administration.

These types of contracts are increasingly popular among government agencies, particularly the Pentagon, as a way to speed up the acquisition process, making it easier to find a contractor. The program is "a key component" of the GSA's portfolio of technology solutions, Jim Williams, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, said in a statement.

The winners were chosen out of a pool of 66 competitors, according to the GSA. There were no big surprises, industry analysts said. "All the big guys were on there, not too much of a surprise," said Arash Ardalan, federal analyst at Input.

After being in the works for years and several months' delay, the announcement was highly anticipated, said Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president at FedSources. "For almost everybody it was a must-win situation," he said.

The GSA is expected to announce a list of small businesses eligible for a separate part of the contract, worth about $15 billion, later this year.

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