I protest, you protest, we all protest ITES. So it seemed after the US Army chose 11 of the 17 bidders as winners, eligible to compete for $20 billion worth of defense-related IT contracts under the ITES-2 umbrella vehicle. Northrop Grumman is probably glad that it protested – not only did it win re-admittance to the winners circle (along with all other eliminated firms), but it just landed a key battlefield logistics contract that could be worth up to $600 million.
Under the Global Combat Support System-Army (Field/Tactical) program (GCSS-Army) contract, Northrop Grumman’s Mission System sector will lead a team (NGC MS, IBM Global Services, Computer Sciences Corporation, Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., and SAP America) to implement an enterprise system capable of providing the current status of all Army equipment and assets so that soldiers can best anticipate, allocate and manage the flow of available resources. CGSS-Army will be a global system that supports Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve forces, re-engineering the current STAMIS (Standard Army Management Information Systems) system. As a key element of the Army’s larger vision for the integration of its major logistics systems and processes, GCSS-Army will also be important in the management of logistical assets of future programs. If it was up and running now, for instance, it would be used to track MRAP-related logistics.
NGC received initial funding of $10 million on this cost plus fixed fee task order, which is valued at up to $600 million over 7 years. NGC release.
A $450 million, 5-year contract announced by the Pentagon on August 31, 2006 was issued for activation in response to “natural disasters, humanitarian efforts, contingencies and other requirements (i.e. due to non-performance by an incumbent contractor or instances where there is an unanticipated lapse in service) at various locations (including remote locations) throughout the world.”
The winner was Contingency Response Services LLC – a partnership of DynCorp International; Parsons Global Services Inc in Pasadena, CA; and PWC Logistics in Safat, Kuwait. Since that date, they seem to be picking up contracts in the Philippines, as well as one in the USA. As it happens, US SOCOM’s low-profile activities in the Philippines include a lot of community support work as part of their mission. Read “Imperial Grunts” to understand how and why, or delve into the work of Kilcullen and some of the other self-titled “Jedi Knights” of US counterinsurgency theory [New Yorker article: “The Master Plan” | front lines thoughts | Grim’s “Disaggregation & the Gravity Well” | Kilcullen writes on Small Wars Journal blog].
It is said that amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics. Analysts study procurement, because this is where the decisions are taken that affect both the range of thinkable tactics, and the logistics infrastructure that underpins them. Hence the importance of programs like the USA’s newly-launched Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative (DTCI).
At present, the US Department of Defense’s shippers in the continental US (CONUS) are handled by individual depots, bases, and other locations. Each location independently selects the transportation modes, level of service, and transportation providers they need, and so multiple information systems are employed to execute and manage shipment activity. There is no centralized planning, coordination, or control. The system works, because each shipment is managed. Is it as efficient as it could be? No.
Hence DTCI, which is focused on increasing operational effectiveness, while simultaneously obtaining efficiencies by reducing cycle times, and using best practices such as increased consolidations / load optimization and modal conversions. The premise is for DoD to competitively award a long-term contract with a world-class transportation coordinator/coordinator(s) that will help it achieve these goals, leveraging current commercial capabilities and proven practices save up to 20% as it manages, consolidates, and optimizes freight movements. In the business world, this growing trend is called 3rd Party Logistics (3PL).
The DTCI contract has a multiple phased implementation approach – which DID describes below in our Spotlight article, along with the program’s history & issues faced, the recent announcement of a winning team, the known competitors, and a collection of useful reference resources…
Back in March 2005, DID noted that the US Army had narrowed the field for its $20 billion ITES-2 IT contract to 17 potential prime contractors. At the time, we also noted the Army’s plan to issue the formal RFP in May 2005. Later, in April 2005, DID covered Kevin Carroll, “the $36 billion man” who leads the office in charge of ITES and ITES-2 as the Army pursued its vision of a major long-term contract vehicle for a wide range of information technology and computing services.
In September 2005, the U.S. Army released its RFP for its $20 billion Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Services program via the Army Small Computer Program, the Army Contracting Agency, and the Information Technology, E-Commerce, and Commercial Contracting Center. After that, things didn’t go as well. A major kerfuffle and 2 rounds of GAO protests followed the award, which led to a revised list of winners in November 2006.
They’ve also just announced the selection of 29 firms for award under the maximum $50 billion Alliant Governmentwide Acquisition Contract. The Alliant umbrella contract provides all US federal government agencies, including the Pentagon, with a centralized source to acquire integrated Information Technology (IT) solutions worldwide. The contract has a 5-year base period with a 5-year option period, and replaces two similar contracts set to expire: Millenia, and ANSWER (Applications ‘N Support for Widely diverse End user Requirements)…
The US Navy has issued a set of consulting firm contracts to help the Director of Material Readiness and Logistics (OPNAV N4) with business process improvements. These are cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contracts with options. Contract funds associated with the contract guaranteed minimum amounts will expire Sept. 2007, while work is expected to be complete Mar. 2008. Work will be performed in Washington, DC (95%); and other Department of Navy CONUS(CONtinental US) locations (5%). These contracts were competitively procured and solicited through Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with 15 offers received by the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Division. Winners included:
Accenture National Security Services LLC in Reston, VA. $11.6 million, $57.5 million if all options are exercised (N00189-07-R-Z018).
AMSEC LLC in Virginia Beach, VA. $8.9 million, $44 million if all options are exercised (N00189-07-R-Z019).
Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in McLean, VA. $9.5 million, $47 million if all options are exercised (N00189-07-R-Z020).
IBM in Fairfax, VA. $9.3 million, $47 million if all options are exercised (N00189-07-R-Z021).
America’s “Department of Homeland Security” has grown significantly in the wake of 9/11, and contracting growth has accompanied this trend. While the organization scrambles to hire experienced procurement staff, it must still manage the programs given to it by Congress, internal constituencies – and, of course, Mother Nature. 2006 was a busy year, and Government Security News has a list of the Top 100 DHS contractors of 2006. Here’ are the top 10:
# Fluor ($1.5 billion). One of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies.
# Shaw Environmental ($852.2 million). Includes environmental and infrastructure services, and also building protection & security services.
# Bechtel National, Inc. ($471.2 million). Engineering, construction, and project management.
# C2HM Hill Constructors, Inc. ($436.5 million). Full service engineering, consulting, construction and operations management.
# IBM ($413.3 million. I.T. systems and consulting.
# Unisys Corp. ($362.8 million). I.T. systems, also a top RFID vendor
# Integrated Coast Guard Systems ($325.6 million). The Lockheed/ Northrop-Grumman partnership responsible for the Coast Guard’s troubled Deepwater program.
# American Red Cross ($285 million). Often mobilized in the wake of diasters; also involved in emergency preparedness.
# L-3 Communications ($270.6 million). Surveillance and reconnaissance systems, satellites, and secure communications. Also involved in the CAPS2 project to protect passenger jets against missiles.
# JHM Research and Development ($250.2 million) Facilities management, records management, document conversion, and I.T.
As an equally interesting project, look at the bottom 10 (90-100) and note how many have been acquired. It’s the nature of the industry.
Traditional computer infrastructure setup is fairly straightforward: buy the equipment, set up the data centers, plan for future capacity needs, and add or change systems as required. Applied in another sector, it amounts to: “You want power? Build a local generator.” Efficiency improvements are possible, and the US military has been moving to consolidate its server applications as part of that effort. Some civilian sectors have been there and done that – and are now moving toward a different model of computing as a service or utility.
Under that model, those operations are contracted out under an agreement that stipulates certain levels of performance, quality of service, et. al. It requires a different set of skills to manage, shifts risk toward the vendor, and isn’t exactly like the classic utility model because transfer to a different provider is much more difficult and complex. Nonetheless, it does represent a very different approach to addressing I.T. needs. If it works, “utility computing” or “service-based computing” lets I.T. departments add capacity much more quickly, and frees them from the expensive and time-consuming chore of managing servers. Let the vendor who built them do that, goes the thinking, and discover incentives to create or configure computers that need less babysitting. If this sounds like it has parallels with Britain’s “Future Contracting for Availability” approach to defense equipment, that’s because it does.
The USA’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) started its move toward a service-based environment in July 2006. A $17 million award to IBM for the agency’s Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) contract will provide DOD customers with instant messaging, low-bandwidth text chat and Web conferencing on a managed service basis. That move has since picked up speed, via over $1 billion worth of fixed-price service contracts under a “utility computing” model…
On August 4, 2005, DefenseLINK announced that ITT Industries Inc., DBA(Doing Business As) Advanced Engineering & Sciences in Reston, VA won a 10-year, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency, Joint Spectrum Center. This contract “will provide the Joint Spectrum Center with electromagnetic spectrum engineering services, to include engineering and analysis; information management; standards development and application; measurement, testing, and evaluation; modeling and simulation; research and evaluation of emerging technologies; interference resolution; and ordnance risk assessment.”
What does that mean, why is this award to an ITT-led team important, and who is on the team?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Border Initiative (SBI) is a comprehensive plan to secure U.S. borders and reduce illegal immigration, including an array of technical aids and elements on both the northern Canadian border and the southern border with Mexico. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency will lead and execute both the SBI and related SBInet efforts, and a $2 billion SBInet contract is expected to be awarded in September 2006. Boeing IDS President & CEO Jim Albaugh has described SBInet as “an initiative of national significance addressing a global problem,” and both Boeing IDS and Raytheon are currently prepping teams for the bid.
The Boeing-led SBInet team includes the following major contractors: DRS Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group in Palm Bay, FL; DRS Technologies in Parsippany, NJ; Kollsman,Inc. in Merrimack, NH, an Elbit Systems of America company; L-3 Communications in Washington, D.C.; L-3 Communication Systems – West in Salt Lake City, UT; Perot Systems in Plano, TX; and Unisys Global Public Sector in Reston, VA.
Raytheon leads a team that includes: Apogen Technologies, Inc. in McLean, VA; BAE Systems, Inc. in Rockville, MD; Bechtel National, Inc. in Frederick, MD; Deloitte Consulting LLP in New York, NY; and IBM in Armonk, NJ. Interestingly, Raytheon is citing is leadership of Brazil’s SIVAM (System for Vigilance of the Amazon) program and its 30 subcontractors as a key qualification that’s comparable in scope and complexity to the USA’s SBInet.