EPA awards innovative deal

Just one month after the Transportation Security Administration awarded a billion-dollar contract to Unisys Corp. to build its information technology infrastructure, the Environmental Protection Agency has followed suit with its own performance-based task order.

DynCorp Systems and Solutions LLC, a lead partner to Unisys on the TSA job, is the recipient of this latest federal deal that emphasizes a relatively new procurement strategy in which an agency pays a company for technology solutions that help solve a problem.

The IT Solutions-EPA (ITS-EPA) task order, which is valued at $867 million for seven years, consolidates two previous contracts. It covers IT operations and telecommunications services at the agency's offices and laboratories nationwide. Some of the 19 major areas it includes are networking, desktop support and security, and running the agency's national computer center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

The EPA has nicknamed the program "IT Solutions," said Kim Nelson, the agency's chief information officer. "It's a significant cultural change for the organization," she said, adding that DynCorp "is taking over the vast management of EPA's infrastructure."

The EPA selected DynCorp because of the "world-class team [it brought] to the table," Nelson said. The team "provides enterprise IT solutions nationwide to assist the EPA in meeting its strategic objectives and responsibilities," DynCorp says on its Web site.

IBM Corp., Unisys' other lead partner in the TSA program, will handle the computer center component of ITS-EPA, Nelson said.

Additional subcontractors include Asyst Technologies Inc., Excel Management Systems Inc., the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training Inc., KPMG Consulting Inc., North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, Paloma Systems Inc., PlanetGov Inc., State IT Consortium, Superlative Technologies Inc., Veridian Corp., Kenrob and Associates Inc. and Madison Research Corp.

"It's a broad variety of services," Nelson said. "As we all look more at enterprisewide solutions, we thought it was important to have a more holistic view."

ITS-EPA was competitively awarded Sept. 4 through the General Services Administration's Millenia contract by GSA and the EPA's Office of Environmental Information. It represents the largest multiyear task order to fall under GSA's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center.

ITS-EPA is similar to TSA's IT Managed Services task order, which has received cautious praise from the federal IT community for its approach. "Very much so," Nelson said.

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