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Contractors preparing for acquisition vehicle worth up to $20 billion

Contractors are readying for the release of a sprawling new contract program worth up to $20 billion over 10 years to provide government agencies with technology hardware, software and other infrastructure.

The program is the fourth iteration of a contracting vehicle managed by the National Institutes of Health’s Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center, or NITAAC, a body tasked with managing several major procurement programs.

This particular vehicle, known as the Chief Information Officer-Commodities and Solutions, or CIO-CS, program, will be used to buy IT commodities such as personal computers, servers and printers, said Robert Coen, acting program director of NITAAC.

This contracting program is meant to complement the center’s IT services contracting programs, which were awarded last year.

The previous iteration of CIO-CS was awarded in late 2002, and 66 vendors won spots on the program, said Stephen Morris, research analyst at Herndon-based Deltek, which analyzes the government contracting market.

According to Morris, NITAAC has since extended the program until late 2014 for 42 of those vendors (others dropped out for various reasons, including acquisitions and closures, the NITAAC said).

Though the program was originally awarded with a $6 billion ceiling value, it has produced about $2.1 billion in spending to date, according to NITAAC.

NITAAC plans to award about 50 contracts in the new program, both to manufacturers and to resellers, Coen said.

The program is attracting significant interest, he said. NITAAC has received more than 300 responses to its draft solicitations and has also reached out to agency chief information officers for their input, as the vehicle will be used by many government agencies.

More than 1,100 Deltek users have marked the program as one of interest to follow developments, Morris said.

Program officials said they don’t have a fixed timeline for the program, but the existing vehicle expires in November 2014, said Brian K. Goodger, associate director for the Office of Logistics and Acquisition Operations, the parent organization of NITAAC.

“It’s got to be awarded by” then, he said. “That’s the deadline we’re up against.”



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