Procurement

TSA seeks info on IT infrastructure upgrade

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The Transportation Security Administration is looking for alternative methods of providing IT infrastructure services for its employees, including new methods of delivering those services via cloud computing, backing them with service-level agreements and implementing new enterprise architecture frameworks.

A request for information released in late September seeks to update the agency’s IT Infrastructure Program (ITIP) contract that supports services and solutions for the 60,000 employees at the Department of Homeland Security component’s Arlington, Va., headquarters, 550 airports across the country, Federal Security Director offices and international support sites.

Because of the 16-day partial government shutdown, on Oct. 18, TSA extended the deadline for responses from Oct. 4 to Oct. 24.

The current ITIP contract was awarded to Computer Sciences Corp. in 2009, and the five-year pact was worth about $500 million. Unisys and General Dynamics had vigorously protested the award and were initially sustained by the Government Accountability Office, resulting in a multiple work stoppages before the dispute was resolved in CSC’s favor.

The new RFI seeks more details from industry on how newer innovative service delivery models might work for the agency.

Such models could include “the proactive delivery of service operations in an IT environment by a third party on behalf of a customer with a cost-effective support model such as managed services or operations and maintenance service models,” the RFI states.

Furthermore, potential service-level agreements should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound), and metrics must cover both provider and end-user perspectives.

The RFI also seeks input on introducing, adopting and integrating emerging technologies, including modernizing or sunsetting legacy IT systems infrastructure, transitioning to "X as a service" by turning to DHS or another government agency as a service provider, and a more complete embrace of cloud computing.

In addition, TSA is interested in hearing how the managed service model, or other IT service delivery model, would address operations, maintenance, and management of device health monitoring, signature updates, patch and firmware upgrades, and what impact the model would have on enterprise and network security devices such as servers, routers, switches, intrusion-detection systems, firewalls, log/event collectors, and security information and event management.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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