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3 Area Firms to Compete For HIV/AIDS Relief Work

By David Hubler
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, August 20, 2007

Three local companies are among a half-dozen winners of a multiple-award contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development to support a program designed to combat the spread of AIDS and provide treatment for those affected by the disease.

The six winners of the AIDS Support and Technical Assistance Resources contract will compete over five years for up to $200 million in work orders to support the effort.

BearingPoint and Booz Allen Hamilton, both of McLean, and Training Resources Group of Arlington will vie for the work along with three Boston area companies: Abt Associates, Social Sectors Development Strategies and Management Sciences for Health.

USAID is a major participant in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which covers more than 120 countries. The plan places special emphasis on 15 nations in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean that are home to approximately half the 40 million cases of HIV infection worldwide.

The USAID contracts call for providing state-of-the-art technical assistance and support to expand high-quality HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services abroad, and creating the technical and management expertise needed to sustain those services.

"The mandate for this contract is quite large," said Lizann Prosser, BearingPoint's project director for the contract.

AIDSTAR, which is a follow-on award to previous similar USAID contracts, has two components. Sector 1 supports service delivery programs focused on medically treating and counseling HIV/AIDS patients.

BearingPoint's Emerging Markets practice will provide management, economic and information technology consulting services under Sector 2. That calls for working in many countries with various ministries of health, national AIDS commissions, and district and local nongovernmental organizations to develop and improve HIV/AIDS prevention services.

"USAID and all donors have limited resources and so they're always looking for ways to make these organizations more sustainable," Prosser said. "That's one of the reasons why they're focusing in Sector 2 on the organizational development. That's so that those organizations can manage themselves once a donor like USAID exits."

Prosser said all three local companies have worked with USAID before and all six know each other well. But it is unlikely that the companies will be working together because the AIDSTAR task orders provide for a specific scope of work that only one awardee will implement, she said.

BearingPoint has added three local partners on the contract: Academy for Educational Development, a District-based nonprofit global education organization; Pact, a charitable group that seeks to empower communities, also in the District; and Social Impact, a management, technical assistance and training services consulting organization in Arlington.

BearingPoint spokesman Steve Lunceford acknowledged that his company has had some accounting problems.

"We are pleased to have filed our 2006 10-K in June," he said, "and we remain on target to be up to date in our SEC filings later this year with the filing of our third-quarter 2007 10-Q."

David Hubler is an associate editor with Washington Technology magazine. For information on this and other contracts, go tohttp://www.washingtontechnology.com.

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