IWS/LAN delayed again

The Social Security Administration has once again delayed the award of its $1.1 billion Intelligent Workstation/Local-Area Network contract.

Citing advancements in computer technology, SSA last week said it will now award the contract in June. The agency had hoped to award IWS/LAN this month.

SSA recently amended the contract, which will place a networked computer on the desktop of almost every SSA employee in the United States, to include PCs with the more advanced Pentium processor. Under an original requirement, SSA planned to buy 486s.

"A lot of the technology has changed since the requirements were written more than a year ago," an SSA official said. "The problem we were having is getting the 486s with the speed we wanted. The low-end Pentiums, the [75 MHz and 90 MHz], are standards now."

Among other technology upgrades was an increase in the storage capacity of hard disks. The changes, however, will not affect the overall contract value, the SSA official added.

This most recent delay in awarding IWS/LAN is one of many. SSA originally planned to award the contract last fall.

But two government shutdowns, a January snow storm and the technology enhancements pushed the award date back.

SSA plans to accept best and final offers around the middle of May and has set June 14 as the award date. But SSA hopes to award the contract by the end of May.

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