US Army Biometrics: Who’s the BOSS-U?
Biometrics is a key weapon of war these days, in addition to its uses as a defensive system. That’s the new reality described in “Biometrics Shifting from Defensive to Offensive Uses in Iraq” with help from firms like SAIC.
Governments like umbrella “multiple award” contracts that let them deal with specific areas on set terms. It cuts administrative overhead costs, creates known pools of familiar competitors, and shortens the gap between requests and service. Hence the US Army’s recent announcement of their $497 million Biometrics Operations and Support Services Unrestricted (BOSS-U) multiple award contract awards, run by the Information Technology, E-commerce and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4) on behalf of the Biometrics Task Force.
The opportunity was initially announced on May 23/08, and proposals from 12 offerors were received by the closing date of Aug 18/08. The winners were announced in late December 2008, and include:
- American Systems Corporation (W91QUZ-09-D-0030)
- Booz Allen Hamilton (W91QUZ-09-D-0027)
- CACI (W91QUZ-09-D-0025)
- Cogent (W91QUZ-09-D-0028)
- Computer Sciences Corporation – CSC (W91QUZ-09-D-0033)
- Electronic Data Systems – HP’s EDS (now , W91QUZ-09-D-0036)
- Ideal Innovations – i3 (W91QUZ-09-D-0032)
- Lockheed Martin (W91QUZ-09-D-0034). Release.
- Northrop Grumman (W91QUZ-09-D-0031)
- Raytheon Company (W91QUZ-09-D-0035)
- SAIC (W91QUZ-09-D-0029)
- Telos Corporation (W91QUZ-09-D-0026)
This suite of indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts are designed to offer a broad range of services, solutions and task order types to fulfill the majority of biometrics services needs. The Performance Work Statement (PWS) is comprised of 6 comprehensive functional service categories: Management Support Services; Infrastructure Procurement Design, Development, & Integration; Operations and Maintenance; Advanced Technology Demonstration; Studies and Analysis; and Test and Evaluation.
The contract is part of the agency’s efforts to comply with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 24 and National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 59 mandates, which require the continued use of biometrics technology and common IT and data standards between U.S. Intelligence agencies, DoS, DoD, and DHS. This procurement was performed pursuant to FAR Part 15 Contracting by Negotiation, and employed the use of an advisory multi-step (AMS) process in accordance with FAR 15.202. Twenty-one (21) companies responded with corporate qualifications submissions, and the government determined that 12 of the respondents were considered viable.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in July 2008, and all 12 ‘viable’ firms were awarded contracts. They can now compete to win each individual task order as it comes up.
The contracts awarded are for a 3-year base period and 2 one-year option periods. Each Contractor is guaranteed a total minimum of $3,000, while $497 million is the maximum cumulative dollar ceiling value of all contracts taken together.