Four contractors win $100 million-plus Defense pacts

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service has awarded contracts estimated at more than $100 million to each of four vendors for software support and other technical services at DFAS' Financial Systems Organization (DFAS-FSO).

Under the Defense Financial Integrated Systems Services (DFISS) program Boeing Information Services Inc. Computer Sciences Corp. Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Lockheed Martin Federal Systems Inc. were awarded five-year contracts ranging in total potential value from $113 million to $160 million. DFAS has not revealed its spending cap on the program.

DECKSupport for Finance Accounting SystemsDFAS-FSO will draw on these contracts to support its software development and maintenance of more than 200 Defense Department finance and accounting systems across the country.The four vendors will compete for more than a dozen types of task orders including software development financial management and economic analysis prototyping and systems operations support.

Focus on Discipline

But more than task-order delivery DFAS-FSO says it is looking to foster an underlying discipline in its software engineering by working closely with its contractors. That is one reason DFAS opted to run its own program rather than use other software-oriented services contracts as it has done in the past. "In order to accomplish the tasks outlined in this [statement of work] it is essential that the government and contractor personnel maintain their teaming relationships to satisfy the requirements for all phases of the DFISS project " a DFAS spokeswoman said.

Accordingly DFAS was looking for vendors involved in software process improvement through either the International Standards Organization in its ISO 9000 series a popular commercial standard or the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (CMM) a method of evaluating an organization's software processes that is used widely in DOD. Organizations are judged to be at one of five levels with CMM Level 1 being the lowest.

"They have a goal to make themselves a [CMM] Level 2 - EDS has been putting a lot of effort into this for several years " said Graham Johnson EDS' program manager for DFISS.

Contractors Have Experience

EDS has been supporting DFAS in similar capacities since the organization was formed in 1991 Johnson said. The company is one of the contractors under the Army's Umbrella II and III programs which DFAS has used in the past.

Lockheed Martin also has been doing support work at DFAS said Dan Richards the company's proposal manager on DFISS. Lockheed Martin Federal Systems has been evaluated at Level 3-plus and Level 4-capable Richards said.

CSC and Boeing are two of six contractors on the Defense Enterprise Integration Services I and II programs another primary vehicle for DFAS prior to DFISS. CSC has completed six task orders for DFAS under that program a CSC spokesman said.

"This method of acquiring support has met the needs of DFAS-FSO in the past " the spokeswoman said. "However due to contract dollar thresholds and the need to reduce the overall operating costs for DFAS it is necessary for DFAS-FSO to place an [indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity] contract to meet future requirements in a cost-effective and timely manner " she said.

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