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Could Obama Be Changing Plans for the National CTO?

As of this morning, there is still no public comment on the Obama administration's plan to name a national Chief Technology Officer (CTO). So, as the stimulus legislation transitions from front page news story to funding for federal agencies, we decided to take a look at some of the potential reasons why we have not heard an update regarding the CTO.

Round Peg, Square Hole

Perhaps one reason the Obama administration has not been able to name a CTO is the administration is having trouble crafting the position. Finding a place either within an existing organization or as a new addition to the already crowded West Wing could be harder than anticipated. Considering the vast network of issues the CTO must touch on a regular basis – technology implementation, IT policy, HealthIT, GreenIT, cyber security and transparency/efficiency – there might not be an easy spot.

Thanks, but No Thanks

As some have hypothesized, potential candidates have not accepted the position because it does not have enough authority. Whether potential CTOs are looking for budget or policy authority (or both), there is no incumbent or mold for this position thus making it somewhat risky for seasoned professionals. It is likely the CTO will need to be an authority either within the executive branch or within the administration to be effective – policy, budget, advisory or a new version of one of the three.

We've Got This Covered

Perhaps there is no unique need for a CTO because Obama has fulfilled all necessary roles with other nominations, for example: OMB e-Gov Director Kundra, cyber security advisor (Melissa Hathaway), and other leadership roles, including Chief Performance Officer (CPO). In a related possibility, just as the CPO was merged with a leadership position at OMB, the administration could be planning to rework the CTO position into one or several other positions. If so, the CTO would best be distributed across the advisors and policy makers who oversee the IT budget(s), CIOs, government-wide performance issues, and someone who still could have a hand in implementation.

Time is Money

One obvious reason we have not seen a CTO nomination or clarification lately is there has not been enough time. Time is limited and the priorities associated with the economy, recession, stimulus package and nominations for key departments like Commerce and HHS have taken precedent. In fact, it is likely that many of Obama's timelines have been skewed due to the tour associated with the economic stimulus process, the reaction to TARP and unplanned obstacles with the aforementioned nominations.

It's Not You, It's Me

Let's be honest, it is possible that Obama has not found the right person. We can all assume that some vetting has taken place, perhaps even an offer for the role, but while reviewing all the options, we should address the fact that the appropriate person has not been chosen because the appropriate person has not been found. If Obama is sincere about reworking how government operates and understands the complexities of this role, it is also likely he's holding back until the best possible match can be found.

The Last Word

As long as we're going through all the options (even though we have not seen any evidence of this), it is also possible the administration could be rethinking the nomination of a CTO. With all the other priorities and issues to focus on, the administration is not ready to establish this position and define all its roles. So, perhaps we won't see a CTO and instead the administration has sped past this position to deal with national priorities.

On the other hand, this position cannot do everything for anyone. So finding someone who is capable of being well-versed in public and private processes and navigating both the contracting, policy and political issues on a national stage is unlikely. So, just as the administration is currently prioritizing economic issues dealing with those that require immediate attention, the future CTO will have to do that same thing once they take office and ultimately, that's the name of the game this year in Washington D.C.

DoD FY2010 Budget Proposed with Four Percent Growth

While the country's eyes have been focused on the Stimulus Bill, just signed into law, another important milestone recently took place: Department of Defense (DoD) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials agreed to a new FY2010 base budget request of $537 billion. According to a recent report from Inside Defense NewsStand, this figure is $10 billion higher than previously planned in order to incorporate more of the war's recurring costs into the base budget. This change was promoted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and will be welcome on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are frustrated that seven years of war spending have been appropriated as emergency expenses.

According to the Inside Defense NewsStand report, OMB began deliberations with DoD at $524 billion in discretionary spending, with another $2.9 billion for mandatory costs. The agreed-upon $537 billion figure also represents four percent growth from FY09, while also rejecting nearly $50 billion in additional FY10 spending that the Joint Chiefs of Staff attempted to add last year.

In addition, Secretary Robert Gates held his first meeting with Obama administration's appointed Pentagon leaders and top uniformed commanders in order to discuss the FY2010 request so that it corresponds with the Obama administration's policies and priorities. Known as the Defense Senior Leadership Conference, the group established eight issue groups in order to evaluate military weapons programs, part of Secretary Gates' plans for a "strategic reshaping" of existing weapons programs. Gates has long favored transitioning funds from conventional weapons systems to those more suited for the existing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The eight weapons groups under examination include:

  • Tactical aircraft;
  • Mobility;
  • Shipbuilding;
  • Network-centric capabilities;
  • Rotary-wing aircraft;
  • Missile defense;
  • Irregular warfare; and,
  • Nuclear technologies.

As previously speculated in this blog, DoD officials will use the results of these analyses to determine which programs can afford a few cuts or even be cut from the FY2010 budget altogether.

In the short term, the budget request for FY2010 is good news for defense contractors who have been preparing for the worst in tough economic times under a new administration. However, Secretary Gates himself told Congress in January that he believes the post-September 11, 2001 increase in Defense spending is coming to an end. Once the economy has stabilized and the administration turns its focus to the ever-growing deficit, cuts in Defense spending are likely to be at the top of everyone's lists.

Come Together: Collaboration in the World of Child Support

With fiscal uncertainty, families in need, and limited resources, several child support programs have been forced to halt their old methods of functioning and adapt to the changing economic environment. Vendors need to recognize that, especially in service based programs, services overlap and data information exchange within Agencies is vital for success. Innovative technology solutions that center on collaboration are growing in popularity within the child support spectrum. Different agencies and vendors who provide unique services to the same family must work together to deliver the most efficient care package that will not only benefit the people who really need it, but the State itself.

Change and challenge were the topic of conversation at the 2009 National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) Policy Forum and Training Conference held on February 5-7, 2009 in Washington, DC. With the challenges that a declining economy presents, change is imminent for any program to survive, especially one who's service demand increases when families are in need. One of the ways that child support enforcement is leveraging diminished funds is through agency collaboration and automated information exchanges.

Several states have adopted the idea of service coordination as a means towards a successful child support program. Larry Desbian, Policy and Evaluation Section Chief of the Colorado Division of Child Support Enforcement (CSE), discussed a pilot project that received much attention from the rest of the conference attendees. Colorado has utilized 1115 demonstration grants to begin a data sharing project with the Judicial Department. Along with their State Disbursement Unit, the two agencies exchange case information electronically, updating the child support program with any relevant court decisions made on their cases. Data system collaboration is also present in Oklahoma, where child support collections have increased after implementing automated information exchanges between IRS data, passport application data, wrongful death payments, unemployment checks, and worker's compensation claims.

The test for data exchange will occur when child support programs begin compliancy with the Medical Support Regulation, currently on hold in the legislature. The regulation mandates that all child support orders in the IV-D program address medical support and children's health insurance. Nick Young, Director of Virginia's CSE Division, talked about the need of the child support program to develop communication channels with state Medicaid and SCHIP programs. Child support systems, according to Young, were not built to maintain insurance information.

For more information on the NCSEA Policy Forum and Training Conference, see GovWin's Analyst Recap.

Show Me the Money -- Breaking Down the ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Fund

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama includes $53.6 billion for a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. This money will primarily be used to help states maintain funding for elementary, secondary and postsecondary education as well as support for early childhood programs and services. Two new grant programs, totaling $5 billion, were also created -- State Incentive Grants and the Innovation Fund. None of the money in the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund may be used to support private schools and universities.

Word Cloud

Source: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Division A, Title XIV Conference report and produced using

So where is the money going?

Amount Recipient Purpose
$14 million Secretary of Education Administration and oversight of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
$43.5 million Secretary of Education Provide technical assistance to states as part of the State Incentive Grant program
$268 million Outlying areas as defined by the Bureau of the Census Maintain funding for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education
$650 million Local education agencies or non-profit organizations in partnership with local education agencies or school consortia Innovation Fund
$4.35 billion States State Incentive Grant program
$48.3 billion States Maintain funding for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education and to assist with funding for other government services

81.8% of the state allocations must be used to support education in the following ways:

  • Restore state funding shortfalls for elementary and secondary education
  • Create grants to support basic elementary and secondary education programs
  • Modernize, renovate or repair elementary and secondary public school facilities
  • Mitigate the need to raise tuitions and fees for instate students attending public colleges and universities
  • Modernize, renovate or repair public college and university facilities used primarily for instruction, research or student housing

The technology and services components of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund are wide ranging and include longitudinal education data systems, grant management systems, reporting systems and business intelligence tools, construction work order management systems, project management applications, connectivity to the Internet, classroom computers, and a variety of other educational technology, professional and consulting services. To identify public schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education, vendors can use the Institute of Education Sciences locators, which are provided on the National Center for Education Statistics web site.

Since 18.2% of state allocations may be used for other government purposes, the technology aspects in this area run the gamut of technology and professional services that are used to support all government functions.

Companies selling to states and educational entities should develop messaging and marketing campaigns specifically around what can be purchased using State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money. Sales and business development managers should prioritize prospects based on the amount of money they will be receiving and on relationships your company may already have with those governments. Several governors have already created economic stimulus "czars," who may be responsible for distributing money flowing from ARRA. Know who they are and how much power they have. Don't forget about your existing contract vehicles. They can be used for spending under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

State and local governments have been publishing economic wish lists since December. GovWin will be making those lists available on our Economic Stimulus Knowledge Center page this week.

Virginia Website for Stimulus Projects Goes Live

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine announced on February 10th the launch of an innovative website that will gather ideas for projects as a result of potential funding from the federal economic stimulus package. The website, Stimulus.Virginia.Gov, is innovative in that it allows localities and residents of Virginia to partake in the decision-making process for federal funds.

Stimulus.Virginia.Gov is going to be the main portal for groups, localities and residents to submit their project ideas. Additionally, Virginians will have the ability to view proposals in a web table that will be updated on a daily basis.

Governor Kaine stated "While we wait to learn what conditions will be placed on the federal stimulus monies received by the states, we want to start collecting ideas from all over the Commonwealth to ensure the money is spent in a timely and effective manner." The Governor went on to say "Stimulus.Virginia.Gov will give everyone in the Commonwealth a forum to submit and exchange project ideas. Every locality and citizen has a stake in our economic recovery and should have a voice in deciding how this money is spent."

Once projects have been identified as ones that may receive funding, they will be evaluated and selected in a process very similair to how Virginia develops its biennial budget. In some instances, the information will be sent to localities and other government entities, as they will be responsible for prioritizing the projects.

Beginning today (02/10/09), the Commonwealth will begin accepting proposals through the website. GovWin encourages Virginia-based firms to contact their localities to discuss niche project options to be considered, as well as any other projects that might incorporate hot initiatives such as Green Purcashing, Health IT, Software as a Service (SaaS), etc. At this time, an end date for submittal of proposals has not been announced.

GAO to TSA: Study of Private Airport Screeners Good but Not Complete

On Monday, Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a review of a TSA study conducted by Catapult Consultants on the cost and performance of screeners at Screening Partnership Program (SPP) airports, read private screeners, versus federal screeners (TSOs). This is important for several reasons. First, TSA is planning to use the results of this study to make agency-wide strategic decisions about the future of this work. Second, whether or not this is a contracted function could impact government spending and jobs as well as available contract dollars for vendors. Third, as DHS and its components review potential security roles for privatization it could impact how they view privatizing other roles.

According to the TSA study, SPP airports are 17.4% more expensive than federal screeners. These SPP airports did receive an "average performer" rating which means the SPP screeners are comparable to federal screeners; in fact, many of the screeners were given ratings of equal or greater performance to federal screeners. On the other hand, historically speaking SPP airports were between 9-17% more expensive to operate.

In reviewing this study, the GAO found 5 areas where the TSA study was limited as a result of the study's overall design. The study did not:

  1. Include the impact of potential overlapping administrative staff costs
  2. Account for workers compensation, general liability insurance and some retirement costs paid by the federal government (as well as lost corporate income tax from private screeners being replaced by federal screeners)
  3. Include an assessment of the reliability of the costs and performance data
  4. Document the rationale for including 5 performance measures while exclulding others
  5. Include a statistical analysis to determine the level of confidence in observed differences in performance of screeners

The bottom line is GAO recommended that TSA continue its analysis of this issue and not make a final decision based only on this particular study. It is likely that major policy decisions in the area of private vs. federal employees at TSA and other DHS components will continue to be debated. Vendors should keep an eye out for future studies and consulting opportunities at TSA around this issue. As this debate is integral to the available funding and future contracting opportunities, vendors should expect cost and accountability to play the largest role in the final decision. How long it takes DHS to review and finalize decisions in many of these areas is unknown, but the continued review of federal performance vs. private performance to maintain security and save money will be on-going. As it does, the contracted portion of TSA's budget will remain in flux. Therefore, vendors can consider activating their legislative affairs teams to push the value of privatization within DHS and other federal agencies. Which means at some point the Congressional committees or the Obama administration could get involved as part of their attention toward efficiency and cost savings government-wide. Obviously, time and resources are currently unavailable for these investigations but within DHS and border/tranportation security it is something to keep in mind for the future.

California IT Consolidation

Governor Schwarzenegger announced January 16, 2009 the Governor's Reorganization Plan (GRP), which intends to consolidate IT operations with the goal of increasing coordination and efficiency and establishing California as the premier technological state government.

Schwarzenegger's plan is supported by the Little Hoover Commission's "New legacy System: Using Technology to Drive Performance " report. The Commission is an independent state oversight agency that investigates state government operations. Their report was released November 20, 2008 and urged Governor Schwarzenegger and the members of the California State Legislature to realign IT resources. Governor Schwarzenegger will consolidate statewide information technology (IT) functions under the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) under the GRP. The IT consolidation will consist of:

  • Integrating four agencies - the Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Office of Information Security and Privacy Protection (Office of Information Security), Department of Technology Services and the Department of General Services - Telecommunications Division - into an expanded OCIO
  • Providing the State Chief Information Officer with authority for IT procurement policy and enterprise IT management
  • Consolidating software contracts, office automation tools, data centers/computer rooms, servers, storage and networks over the course of five years
  • Preserving program-specific IT systems and budgets at the agency level
  • Governor Schwarzenegger anticipates that the IT consolidation will create more accountability, provide a framework to enhance the IT workforce that supports the state's computer systems, enhance efficiency, and move the state to a performance-based culture with greater accountability and better communication. While businesses and families across the state are pinching pennies and state workers have monthly one day furloughs, it seems only fair that the state of California takes the necessary steps to ensure that the government runs more efficiently. However, the public has displayed some skepticism regarding this consolidation and see it as Schwarzenegger's competitive streak seeking to be looked at as the number one state in IT operations. Teri Takai, who successfully merged statewide IT staff and resources into a single department in Michigan, was hired in 2008 with the hopes that her experience would be the difference in making this consolidation and the State's IT operations in general more successful.

    Not only has the tone of the consolidation project alarmed some citizens, but as noted in the Little Hoover report, California has a history of technology failures. The state has tried to increase technological advancements, accountability systems, and statewide performance systems numerous times. For example, the DMV database upgrade during the 1980s, the performance-based budgeting exercises of the 1990s, the Oracle software contract of 2001, the California Performance Review of 2004, or the "California Developmental Disabilities Information System " project. Projects like these cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, not to mention delays in services due to abandoned technology projects and procurement scandals.

    Some supporters of the IT consolidation say that critics are simply focusing on the negative. Recently, the California OCIO has released a list of "successful IT projects". During 2003-2007, more than 90 projects were completed. Especially during this economic crisis, the state is more determined to "move from risk that paralyzes to risk that motivates." California may have learned from their previous mistakes and is taking steps to ensure the state's success. For example, the state chief information officer position has been elevated to cabinet-level status. This gives the state CIO the authority to set statewide budget priorities for technology initiatives, including supervision of the 6.8 billion investments that the state has underway. California is also seeking to increase accountability and oversight of future projects to drive improved results.

    If the GRP is approved by the Little Hoover Commission and the state Legislature, the IT consolidation initiative will consolidate resources and authority under the state CIO. For example, enterprise projects like FI$Cal would no longer be the responsibility of four separate departments; instead the single point of accountability would be the state CIO. Shifting all IT initiatives to the OCIO will allow the state to implement performance tracking systems and measurement systems that would allow the state to identify and correct any mistake at the point of infraction. Vendors should stay abreast of the many changes taking place in California and be sure to keep an eye on the Governor and CIO's priorities. To gain insight into California's IT efforts and to spark dialogues with government stakeholdes, interested vendors should attend the OCIO Strategic Initiatives Overview 2009 . Success will be found for those who help the State find success in navigating this very turbulent time for the State.

    M&A Activity: January 2009 Recap

    Buyer Seller Announcement / Closing Date Overview Terms
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch Closing Date: 01/01/2009 Bank of America completes purchase of Merrill Lynch. $50 Billion
    Wells Fargo Wachovia Closing Date: 12/31/2008 Wells Fargo completes merger with Wachovia. $15.1 Billion
    Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc Abigal Adams National Bancorp Announced: 01/02/2009 Premier Financial Bancorp to acquire Abigal Adams through a 100% stock exchange. $10.9 Billion
    Roche Holding AG Memory Pharmaceuticals Announced: 01/03/2009 900 North Point Acquisition Corporation, a Roche subsidiary, purchases all outstanding shares of common stock of Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp. $50 Million
    Fincantieri Marine Group Manitowoc Marine Group Closing: 01/01/2009 Fincanteri has completed the acquisition of Manitowoc Marine Group and has created the Fincanteri Marine Group. The Manitowoc companies acquired in this deal are Marinette Marine, Bay Shipbuilding, ACE Marine, and Cleveland Shiprepair. $120 Million
    McDermott International Nuclear Fuels Services Closing: 01/04/2009 A subsidiary of McDermott International completed acquisition of Nuclear Fuel Services. Financial terms were not disclosed
    PCTEL Inc Wi-Sys Communications Announced: 01/04/2009 PCTEL Inc has acquired Wi-Sys Communications Inc. $2.1 Million
    Endo Pharamaceuticals Indevus Pharmaceuticals Announced: 01/04/2009 Endo Pharamaceuticals has entered into a merger agreement under which, Endo Pharmaceuticals will offer to purchase 100% of the outstanding shares of Invdevus. $370 Million
    Acuity Brands Lighting Control & Design Announced: 01/04/2009 Acuity Brands has acquired substantially all of the assests of Lighting Control & Design. Financial terms were not disclosed
    FTI Consulting Inc CXO LLC Announced: 01/05/2009 FTI Consulting Inc has acquired substantially all of the assests of CXO LLC. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Boston Scientific Labcoat Limited Announced: 01/05/2009 Boston Scientific has acquired Labcoat Limited. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Tetra Tech Inc Haselwood Enterprises Inc Announced: 01/05/2009 Tetra Tech Inc has acquired Haselwood Enterprises Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    DTS Inc Neural Audio Corp Announced: 01/05/2009 DTS Inc has acquired Neural Audio Corp. $7.5 Million
    United Technologies Corp Detection Logic Fire Protection Inc Announced: 01/06/2009 A unit of United Technologies Corporation has acquired Detection Logic Fire Protection Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Dell Inc Allin Corporation Announced: 01/09/2009 Dell has acquired the Microsoft IT consulting segements of Allin Corporation. $12 Million
    Vector Capital Alladin Knowledge Sytems Ltd Announced: 01/11/2009 Vector Capital and Alladin Knowledge Systems have entered into a definitive merger agreement, under which Alladin is to be acquired by Vector Capital. $160 Million
    Abott Labs Advanced Medical Optics Announced: 01/11/2009 Abott Labs has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Advanced Medical Optics Inc. $2.8 Billion
    Navigant Consulting Inc The Bard Group Announced: 01/11/2009 Navigant Consulting Inc has acquired the Bard Group. Financial terms were not disclosed
    FCStone Group Inc Elders Risk Management Pty Ltd Announced: 01/11/2009 FCStone Group Inc., has acquired Elders Risk Management. Financial terms were not disclosed
    The Medicines Company Targanta Therapeutics Announced: 01/12/2009 The Medicines Company has entered into a merger agreement with Targanta Therapeutics Corporation. $42 Million
    Quest Software Inc Monsphere Inc Announced: 01/12/2009 Quest Software has acquired the technology assests of Monosphere Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Odyssey Healthcare Inc Avalon Hospice Announced: 01/15/2009 Odyssey Healthcare has acquired Avalon Hospice. Financial terms were not disclosed
    TRW Holdings Group EnTire Joint Venture Stake Announced: 01/14/2009 TRW is acquiring Michelin North America's stake in the EnTire Solutions Joint Venture. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Perini Corpoation Keating Building Corporation Closing: 01/14/2009 The Perini Corporation has completed the acquisition of the Keating Building Corporation. $43 Million
    Avnet Inc Abacus Group PLC Announced: 01/19/2009 Avnet Inc announced that its offer for Abacus Group PLC has been declared unconditional in all respects. $141.6 Million
    Riverbed Technology, Inc Mazu Networks Announced: 01/19/2009 Riverbed Technology has agreed to acquire Mazu Networks. $25 Million
    Computer Sciences Corporation Log Sec Corp Announced: 01/19/2009 Computer Sciences Corp has acquired Log Sec Corp. Terms not disclosed
    Tier Technologies Inc ChoicePay Annouonced: 01/19/2009 Tier Technologies Inc signed a defenitive agreement to purchase substantially all of the assests of ChoicePay. $7.5 Million
    Autonomy Corporation PLC Interwoven Inc Announced: 01/22/2009 Autonomy Corporation has enterd into an agreement to acquire Interwoven Inc. $775 Million
    Mentor Graphics Corporation Agility Design Solutions Inc Closing: 01/22/2009 Mentor Graphics Corporation acquires the C Synthesis assets of Agility Design Solutions Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Pfizer Inc Wyeth Announced: 01/25/2009 Pfizer agreed to acquire Wyeth. $68 Billion
    Sequenom Inc SensiGen LLC Announced: 01/25/2009 Sequenom Inc has agreed to acquire the complete AttoSense(TM) portfolio along with other assets from SensiGen LLC. $8.7 Million
    Deerfield Management NitroMed Inc Announced: 01/26/2009 Deerfield Management has entered into a merger agreement to acquire NitroMed Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    CenturyTel Embarq Corporation Announced: 01/26/2009 CenturyTel and Embarq Coproration have agreed to all proposals related to the merger. Financial terms were not disclosed
    ProMedicus Limited Mercury Computer Systems Inc Announced: 01/26/2009 Mercury Computer Systems Inc., closed on the sale of its subsidiary, Visage Imaging Inc and its affiliate Visage Imaging GmBH to ProMedicus Limited. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Transcept Pharmaceuticals Inc Novacea Inc Announced: 01/26/2009 The merger between Transcept and Novacea is expected to close in February 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Tower Group Inc CastlePoint Holdings, Limited Announced: 01/28/2009 Tower Group announced that its stakeholders authorized the issuance of shares of common stock to shareholders of CastlePoint Holdings, Ltd. CastlePoint Holdings will become wholly-owned by Tower Group Financial terms were not disclosed
    Tetra Tech Inc Wardrop Engineering Inc Announced: 01/28/2009 Tetra Tech has acquired Wardrop Engineering Inc Financial terms were not disclosed
    IAC Interactivecorp Market Hardware Inc Announced: 01/29/2009 An operating business of IAC announced the acquisition of Market Hardware, Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed
    KGP Telecommunications Inc Embarq Logistics Announced: 01/28/2009 KGP Telecommunications Inc. announced today that it has agreed to buy the supply chain, distribution and deployment subsidiary of Embarq Corporation. Financial terms were not disclosed
    Xerox Corporation ComDoc, Inc Announced: 01/30/2009 A Xerox company, Global Imaging Systems, Inc., announced a definitive agreement to acquire ComDoc, Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed

    Top Opportunities Spotlight: DTIC’s Information Assurance Technical Analysis Center (IATAC)

    As GovWin and Federal News Radio review some of the top opportunities for 2009-2010, Jason Miller and I stayed in DoD this week to look at the Defense Technical Information Center's (DTIC) IATAC contract. This contract, currently held by Booz Allen Hamilton, supports the operation of the IATAC including the evaluation, testing and development of information assurance (IA) solutions for Defense and military systems.

    Why Now?

    Air Combat Command (ACC) is preparing to release the RFP for the Software Networks Information Modeling and Simulation (SNIM) Technical Area Task (TAT), a multiple award, ID/IQ contract on February 17, 2009. Some of the tasks currently fulfilled under the IATAC incumbent contract with Booz Allen Hamilton are eligible to be recompeted through this SNIM contract. Additionally, the Air Force is finalizing a procurement strategy for the IATAC contract which could make it a single award and a small business set-aside. Regardless of the procurement strategy, it is likely many of the large vendors within DoD will be competing for the SNIM ID/IQs. While they would be eligible to compete for the IATAC contract should it be full and open, organizational conflict of interest (OCI) clauses would likely be required. It makes the preparation and planning for the IATAC contract which could be valued in the billions all the more interesting.

    Now What?

    As DTIC has already conducted several rounds of market research for the information analysis center (IAC) contracts, there will still be finalizing and settling until the IATAC procurement strategy is approved and released. In the meantime, small business vendors can be competing, teaming and watching the SNIM ID/IQ competition while preparing for the potential IATAC contract to be a small business set-aside. Likewise, large business vendors who missed the SNIM contract or decided to not compete can still look to IATAC as a potential opportunity (for now) and as a teaming opportunity to strengthen a small business proposal should it go to a set-aside.

    With 10 single awards for the core IAC contracts and 3 multiple award ID/IQ contracts, there stands to be a lot of involvement from vendors of all shapes and sizes. As these procurements move forward we anticipate billion dollar ceiling values and an on-going procurement process until each contract is awarded. However, as Doug White (on our Air Force team) recently said to me, "Don't let the incumbent contracts' expiration dates fool you." The incumbent contracts have awarded task orders which could extend performance beyond the final expiration date of the overall contract. So, many of these contracts could be in some stage of the procurement process over the next year or two.

    Listen for me on Federal News Radio with Jason Miller on Monday or Tuesday, February 9-10 and look for the latest news on IATAC with GovWin Opportunity Report #34916 or follow all these DTIC Business Opportunities through GovWin Opportunity Report #47718.

    Tyco International Wins Delaware Interoperable Communications Upgrade

    Just weeks after The State of New York cancelled a multi-million dollar contract with M/A-COM , Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems has been awarded the contract for Delaware's state-wide public safety radio network. Tyco's networks will link multiple local, state, and federal agencies across the state and will connect with Delaware's current 800 MHz radio system.

    The state purchased their initial 800 MHz system back in 1993. At that time, the State contracted with Motorola, Inc. for a digital system, which was compatible with the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials Project 25 (APCO 25) standards as of that date. Since then, additional upgrades have been performed by Motorola, the most recent in 2004. After advertising for proposals in July 2008, Delaware's Department of Safety and Homeland Security assessed all proposals submitted and concluded that Tyco's combination of compatible technology and affordable pricing made them the best vendor for the upgrade. The project will be funded through the $8.6 million Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grants that were awarded to the State. The P25 compliant network will utilize the ten existing sites already in place across the state and will fully comply with all of the P25 Phase 2 standards. The contract amount for this award remains undisclosed. GovWin has been tracking this project since June of 2008 and all documents associated with the solicitation can be found here (member login required).

    While not mentioning the M/A-COM brand usually associated with Tyco's radio communication products, it is assumed the Tyco subsidiary will be providing that technology. After New York State cancelled its April 2004 contract with M/A-COM last month for a similar communications system, interoperable communication projects seemed to have taken a large hit. At this time, The State of Missouri and the City of Portland, OR (member login required) are both pursuing similar communication systems. GovWin will continue to monitor interoperable projects throughout the country in hopes that M/A-COM's New York disaster is not repeated. Vendor's can rest assured that as the push to implement full compliance with all P25 standards continues, more statewide and regional systems will be sought after.

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