Chief Acquisition Officer Greg Rothwell of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently noted that the biggest challenge for chief acquisition officers governmentwide is either rebuilding or growing their workforce. His own department is no exception.
DHS itself has 115 Tier 1 programs that cost more than $100 million each, but only 18 of those programs have certified project managers. DHS’ Office of the CIO is the procurement office’s biggest customer, he said. DHS’ fiscal 2006 budget, $13 billion is procured and $6 billion of that is IT spending. DHS is working to hire and attract a new workforce to replace a large percentage of DHS procurement employees who have been downsized or who are retiring over the next five years. Rothwell now has permission to increase the size of his office to 127 people in fiscal 2006 and 220 in fiscal 2007, he said. Building an IT acquisition center to centralize buying decisions is the second goal (of five). Further details can be found in Federal Computing Weekly (July 25/05) – Rothwell: DHS needs more acquisition staff
CACI International Inc. of Arlington, VA announced that it received approximately $89 million in contracts to support national security and intelligence activities for clients in the federal government. The awards call for CACI to provide systems engineering, knowledge management, and intelligence support, among other solutions.
These contracts include efforts in which CACI will support national counter- terrorism programs, such as providing communications and staffing services for a 24/7 counter-terrorism watch center. On other projects, CACI will provide technical and engineering expertise to help test automated intelligence systems, including support for a military facility that will develop, prototype, and evaluate surveillance collection systems and processing technologies. Additional work will focus on enhancing the financial management infrastructure at a key intelligence agency. Approximately 50% of the work is new for CACI.
Northrop Grumman Corp. in Rolling Meadows, IL received a $27 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract modification to provide for LITENING advanced airborne targeting and navigation pods for U.S. Navy, Army, and Marine Corps use. Designed to improve both day and night attack capabilities, LITENING pods provide pilots with advanced image processing for target identification and coordinate generation, a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, charge-coupled device television (CCD-TV) sensors, a laser spot tracker/ range finder, and infrared laser marker/ designators. It is fully operational 24 hours a day and in adverse weather conditions.
Solicitation began July 2003, and the Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8607-04-D-2751). DID estimates based on past orders that this procurement probably covers around 8 pods plus support.
So, why has the LITENING become the default targeting and surveillance pod for so many air forces around the world?
The US Department of Defense (DoD) needs to fully disclose to Congress the plans for and the progress made on their new business enterprise IT architecture, according to the July 22/05 GAO report #GAO-05-72, “DOD Business Systems Modernization: Longstanding Weaknesses in Enterprise Architecture Development Need to be Addressed.” The new report is the third that GAO has issued this year pertaining to DOD’s Business Management Modernization Program (BMMP). GAO also wants DoD to provide for effective workforce planning for the business enterprise architecture by its September due date, and recommends that DoD implement four previous GAO recommendations.
Pentagon officials recently established the Defense Business Systems Management Committee to oversee the department’s BMMP business systems update, a multibillion-dollar initiative that aims to streamline over 4,000 financial, logistics, personnel and travel systems. FCW.com has further details, or DID has a link to the full GAO report [PDF format].
FN Manufacturing Inc. in Columbia, SC received a $6.8 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for M249 Squad Automatic Weapon 5.56mm light machine guns. At a unit replacement cost estimated at just over $4,000 by GlobalSecurity.org, this order would amount to about 1,650-1,700 weapons. Work will be performed in Columbia, SC and is expected to be complete by January 31, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on March 1, 2004 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL (W52H09-04-C-0090).