Army signs up for NIH contracts

The Army's Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., is partnering with the National Institutes of Health's Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) to purchase hardware and software at a discount. The project is expected to increase traffic to the Web sites of the governmentwide acquisition contracts under NIH's banner and eventually earn a fee for the Army for purchases from the GWACs.

"We bring to the table a lot of resources in contracts that are comprehensive in nature and other things the Army would need to procure quickly," said Elmer Sembly, associate director for communications and outreach at NIH's Office of Administration.

Sembly said the goal is to encourage the Army to use all of the NITAAC contract vehicles that include information technology, imaging and electronic services. Under the plan, the Army directs potential buyers to the NITAAC Web sites that will track the Army's spending and send the service rebates.

The deal gives the Army access to Web sites operated by NITAAC (nitaac.nih.gov). The NITAAC operation pioneered the Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP) contract and other vehicles that take advantage of new contracting techniques allowed under procurement reform.

Under the agreement, NITAAC gets a 1 percent fee that will be split with the Army once its purchases reach a threshold of $170 million.

"It is a new window of opportunity for dealing with Fort Monmouth," said Louis Dorsey of ECS Technologies Inc., a small systems and management company. "In the past, they had internal contracts that were mandated."

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