Blizzard of awards in 30-day forecast

Although the holiday season traditionally is a quiet one in the nation's capital the next month could be busy for information technology procurement offices with agencies scheduled to award more than a dozen large IT contracts with a combined value approaching $10 billion.

Topping the list is the Defense Information Systems Agency which accounts for half of the estimated value. The agency plans to award the $5 billion Defense Information Systems Network Transmission Services contract next month. That will provide the basic networking and communications services for Defense Department installations throughout the continental United States.

The U.S. Postal Service hopes to award its Managed Network Services contract a $2.1 billion pact that will expand its Postal Routed Network communications system to 34 000 post offices. It will be the largest privately owned network in the world.

Also in the $1 billion-plus category is the Department of Veterans Affairs which could award its $1.5 billion Procurement of Computer Hardware and Software contract as early as January. PCHS which will replace the Nationwide Office Automation for the VA program will offer PCs software and peripherals.

Other large contracts slated for awards are: the $388 million General Services Administration Western Zone Business/Scientific contract which will offer a full gamut of IT services and the National Institutes of Health's $170 million Corporate Computing contract which will upgrade NIH's IBM Corp. mainframes in its computing center. The latter contract is one of four that makes up the $451 million Project CERTAN (Computer Equipment Resources and Technology Acquisition for NIH).

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