NIH cancels supercomputer buy

The National Institutes of Health last week canceled a $40 million procurement for high-performance workstations and supercomputers and instead will buy the equipment from existing contracts to save on acquisition costs.

John Dickson chief of high-performance scientific computing with NIH's Division of Computer Research and Technology said NIH has not yet decided which contracts it will use or which products it will buy.

The supercomputer buy was one of four that made up Project CERTAN (Computer Equipment Resources and Technology Acquisition for NIH).


INS delays services contract RFP

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has put on hold a services contract for a database that INS and employers use to verify aliens' immigration status and determine their benefits.

The request for proposals for the estimated $45 million Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Support Services II had been expected this week but now INS will wait until after September to issue the request for proposals. A related SAVE support services contract worth $83 million was awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp. last month.


Whitley named to GSA's integration post

Mary Whitley former director of software management at the General Services Administration's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (Fedsim) last week was named deputy assistant commissioner for information technology integration in GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service. Whitley replaces John Ortego who was named director of the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center in New Orleans.

Randy Touchton director of GSA's Federal Information Systems Support Program last week accepted additional duties as acting director of the Federal Computer Acquisition Center also a position previously held by Ortego.

Touchton will remain in the job while GSA officials search for a permanent director.


IRS recompetes adaptive-tech pact

The Internal Revenue Service has released a request for proposals for adaptive technology which is computer equipment such as one-handed keyboards and dictation systems designed for employees with physical disabilities. The contract will be open to the Treasury Department. The Disabled Employees Support Acquisition Contract II worth an estimated $13.5 million is set aside for small businesses.


MCI withdraws protest of AT&T award

A spokesman from the General Services Administration said MCI last week withdrew its protest of an award to AT&T for the International Direct Distance Dialing contract.

MCI filed its protest last month with the General Accounting Office on the grounds that AT&T's proposed pricing was unrealistic and that GSA awarded the contract without taking into account AT&T's poor record of past performance. The GSA spokesman said the agency received word from MCI last week that it would drop the protest but the company's letter offered no explanation for the decision.

An MCI statement said: "MCI decided that it was in its best interest to withdraw the protest. Nevertheless questions remain regarding AT&T's recent pricing practices and record of performance."


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