Procurement briefs

DOD official encourages use of veterans GWAC; DARPA: Creative concepts can manage disasters

A top Defense Department official has issued a memo to the military branches and other DOD officials encouraging them to use the Veterans Technology Services (VETS) contract, which contract advocates say could be a major factor in its success. The military has not been good about using small firms owned by service-disabled veterans, said John Moliere, president of Standard Communications. The April 12 memo from Kenneth Krieg, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, might change that. “Now that the DOD has been authorized to go forward and use it, it’s very substantial,” Moliere said. “This is the kind of thing that could indeed make the VETS GWAC the contract of the year.” In the memo, Krieg reminds the organizations that Congress has established a goal that 3 percent of federal prime contracts should go to service-disabled, veteran-owned businesses. The GWAC makes it easier for agency officials to identify qualified businesses. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking innovative ideas and concepts that can advance strategic collaboration, according to a request for information issued by DARPA. The agency wants interested individuals and organizations to submit white papers on technologies and concepts for a DARPA program to develop a network-enabled collaborative environment. Ultimately, the networked environment would bring together large numbers of people to address the complex problems of large-scale disaster recovery and relief operations. The recent and increasing prominence of Stability, Security, Transition and Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations pose new challenges for the military, according to DARPA. These operations involve a large, diverse mix of military organizations, nonmilitary government organizations, regional and international government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, private volunteer organizations, individual volunteers, and the local population, the RFI states. These disaster relief and reconstruction operations exceed the ability of any one actor or organization to solve or even comprehend, DARPA officials said. Participants in such operations have to collaborate across domains, organizations, cultures and languages. Responses to the RFI are due no later than  April 30. Find links to the RFI and a link to register on FCW.com’s Download at .

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