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Contract to Watch: Army readying consolidated services program

The Army is preparing to consolidate three contracting efforts dealing with various services into a single program that could be worth as much as $3.2 billion over five years.

The new program, dubbed TACOM’s Strategic Service Solutions or TS3 (TACOM is a shorthand for Tank Automotive Command), will cover everything from vehicle maintenance to research and development work to consulting services.

“It’s big because it’s all service contracting here at TACOM,” a Warren, Mich.-based Army command, said Terri Vaillancourt, group chief for service contracting at Army Contracting Command-Warren. “Instead of redoing [the three existing programs] separately, we did a cost-benefit analysis and we decided it makes more sense ... to put them under one contract.”

While a final strategy for the program hasn’t been approved, the contracting office is seeking to make it a five-year program with multiple awardees as well as a small-business component, Vaillancourt said.

The contracting command is planning to issue a draft solicitation and hold an industry day in June before releasing a final solicitation in August. Vaillancourt said the command hopes to make an award in March 2014.

Dozens of contractors already work under the three service contracts that will be consolidated, meaning anticipation for the new program is already high.

Stephani Antona, a research analyst at Herndon-based Deltek, which analyzes the government contracting market, said more than 500 Deltek members have marked the program of interest.

Vaillancourt said she could only provide limited details before the final strategy is approved, but indicated the contracting command hopes to limit the pool of awardees.

“We don’t want 112 contract holders,” she said, pointing to another services contract vehicle. “This is supposed to be a streamlined process.”

The consolidated effort is meant to make the contracting process both more straightforward and faster moving, Vaillancourt said.

Under the existing programs, each used its own procedures. With a single pool of competitors and one program, the contracting command hopes to shave a month off the time it takes to award a task order, she said.

“It just makes sense to us to have all buyers use common templates, common processes, common ordering procedures,” Vaillancourt added.

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