Navy to award more BPAs

The Naval Information Systems Management Center is soon expected to award one or more blanket purchasing agreements for desktop computers.

NISMC earlier this summer awarded BPAs for notebook computers to Ameridata Federal Systems and McBride and Associates Inc. The notebook deals - each worth up to $98.6 million - are considered to be the largest awards ever arranged through the General Services Administration's Schedule B/C.

As early as this week NISMC will award its latest BPA contracts to complement the notebook vehicles. The center on Aug. 29 asked vendors to respond to a requirement to supply 7 500 units over a three-year period. In addition to desktops servers may also be required according to industry sources.

"We're excited about it " said Rocky Mountain manager of federal government marketing at Dell Computer Corp. "[The BPA initiative] is very indicative of the power of GSA as a procurement vehicle."

Dell declined to say whether it was bidding the contract.

An alternative to formal contracts BPAs allow agencies to negotiate their own deals with vendors using the GSA schedule as a basis for negotiations. Agencies in effect set up accounts with vendors to fill recurring needs at discounted prices.

In addition to manufacturers such as Dell federal resellers are also bidding the Navy deal sources said. "[BPAs] really streamline the paperwork " said Steve LeCompte vice president of IDC Government Market Services. The procurement cycle goes much faster with a BPA because the agency is drawing from a pre-approved list of contractors on the GSA schedule.

The current Navy BPAs appear to be running in competition with the Navy's New Technology for Office and Portable Systems contracts which were awarded to Cordant Inc. and BTG Inc. Officials at both companies said they were unaware of the Navy's desktop BPA efforts.

A spokesman for NISMC was unable to confirm the Navy's desktop BPA plans.

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