Daily federal government contracting news and analysis from around the GovCon world.
June 12, 2012
June 14: GovWin MarketView 2012 Conference
From DoD to State: Agencies break new contracting ground in Iraq [Federal News Radio] - As the U.S. military has redeployed out of Iraq, the contracting landscape has changed from a military-focused, DoD-led effort to a diplomatic development effort led by the Department of State.
Senator rebukes Pentagon for contract with Russian firm 'arming the Assad regime' [Fox News] – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressing "grave concerns" about a no-bid contract issued last June to Russian firm Rosoboronexport for Mi-17 helicopters to equip the Afghan military. Cornyn called for an audit of the contract, claiming that the company "continues to supply weapons and ammunition" to the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Federal Agencies Devise Shared Services Plans [Information Week] – The federal government spends nearly $80 billion on IT each year, and according to an Office of Management and Budget review, could realize "billions of dollars in potential savings" by consolidating projects across agencies – a priority for federal CIO Steven VanRoekel.
NASA reveals IT reform progress [Federal Computer Week] - NASA CIO Linda Cureton provided a recent update on the agency's IT reform efforts. She cited improved investment management practices, and the adoption of cloud and shared services as signs of progress.
Big Data Problem Plagues Government Agencies [CIO] - Federal agencies now capture more data than almost any other entity, and it's growing – "87 percent of government IT professionals say their stored data grew in the last two years and 96 percent expect their data to grow in the next two years (by an average of 64 percent)." But, according to an analysis by MeriTalk, agencies lack the storage, computational power and personnel to make the most of that data – and "unstructured data makes up 31 percent of data held by the government."
First Year in Contracting: Subcontracting [GovWin] - Small businesses looking to get into the government contracting market often use subcontracting as a way to gain profit and hone their skills for future work. Lindley Ashline highlights the pros, cons and considerations that small businesses should consider before making subcontracting a company goal.
CIA’s research investment focus shifts from missiles to big data [NextGov] – Spending by the CIA's In-Q-Tel investment wing is shifting focus from missiles and electronic warfare gadgets to surveillance and data mining. Nearly one third of the agency's investment portfolio is now centered in California's Silicon Valley.
Freeze border security drone purchases, IG says [NextGov] – The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General has advised the Customs and Border Protection agency to stop buying unmanned drones until it has a better plan for operating and maintaining its existing fleet. According to the IG, the current fleet of robot planes sits unused 63 percent of the time.
Agencies taking a more disciplined approach to managing vendors [Federal News Radio] – The General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service recently surveyed its vendors, asking contractors to evaluate the agency's performance for the first time. The survey was "an example of a growing recognition by agencies they need to improve the way they manage their vendors."
Expert: Losing Bidders Could Pay For Overworking Protest System [Federal Computer Week] – Steven Maser, professor of public policy and public management at Willamette University, recommended in a recent report that Congress "authorize the Government Accountability Office to require companies that repeatedly file baseless protests to compensate the agency for the costs that go along with protesting an award." [We pitched such an idea in Sequestration as Kickstarter for IT Innovation?.]
The disaster that is sequestration [Foreign Policy] - Dov Zakheim, a former Undersecretary of Defense under President Reagan, argues that the possible sequestration of the DoD budget "poses the greatest single threat to American recovery in the near term."
The State of Contractors
Lockheed turns 100; sees growth ahead [Washington Technology] – According to Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Information Systems and Global Solutions, the company has accumulated a record $80.7 billion in order backlog and increased net sales to $46.5 billion, in this, it's 100th year. She cites "a three-pronged strategy of performance, expansion into foreign markets and innovation in emerging markets" for the success.
CSC keeps focus during troubled times [Washington Technology] – Computer Sciences Corp moved up to number nine in Washington Technology's Top 100 Prime Contractors list for 2012, thanks to a strategy focused on selling commercial solutions to federal customers. The strategy helped the company capture $19.3 billion in new business awards in its fiscal 2012, up 30 percent from the previous year.
Company That Powers College Career Sites Searched by FBI [ERE.net] – Symplicity Corporation, a GSA contractor responsible for the design of much of the current FedBizOpps website, is reportedly "under investigation by the FBI for allegedly attempting to hack into the computer systems of two competitors."
DOD Contract Announcements
A coalition of companies including ADCI and CapRock Government Solutions were awarded multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a not-to-exceed ceiling of $65,750,000 to provide mobile satellite services for Department of Defense combatant commands, services, and agencies, and as well as other federal agencies.
The Navy awarded a $25,392,401 firm-fixed-price contract to ERAPSCO for the procurement of 4,628 AN/SSQ-125 sonobuoys. See the full announcement for more details and other awards.