The Treasury Department chose 21 companies to develop software applications, provide information technology support and introduce technologies under a five-year, $3 billion contract.

Eight of the 15 large businesses and all six small businesses selected have their headquarters in the Washington area. The other winners also have a substantial presence locally.

The contract, known as the Total Information Processing Support Services-3 (TIPSS-3), replaces an earlier contract, TIPSS-2, which expires Nov. 30. TIPSS-3 is a key initiative to continue improvement of the Treasury's information technology management and operations, said Ira Hobbs, the Treasury's chief information officer. The contract's use of large and small businesses provides a diversified base, he said.

The contractors under TIPSS-3, awarded Oct. 28, are to compete for orders to provide systems support, security and business services for the Treasury and its agencies. The contract is for one year with four one-year options.

Each contractor is guaranteed a minimum of $100,000 in work. Orders of $250,000 or less will be set aside for small businesses, said the IRS National Procurement Office, which conducted the procurement. The contract is not related to a long-running effort, led by Computer Sciences Corp., to modernize business systems at the Internal Revenue Service.

Business services covered by the new contract include feasibility studies and applications to manage and track large-scale systems. Contractors also will provide system security services, including improving the security of data in computer files or during transmission and assessing technology risks relating to privacy, fraud and abuse.

Mary Mosquera is a staff writer with Government Computer News. For information on this and other contracts, go to www.gcn.com.