Great Lakes HQ awards six small-biz IT contracts

The General Services Administration's Great Lakes regional headquarters this spring awarded contracts to six small businesses that will each provide up to $2.9 million worth of information technology hardware and software.

The indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contracts were awarded under the auspices of the Federal Acquisition Services for Technology effort a GSA program that buys IT products and services on behalf of agencies throughout government. Each GSA region running a FAST program can funnel these requirements to small businesses that have won FAST contracts to GSA schedule vendors or to vendors holding other governmentwide contracts.

A spokesman at GSA Great Lakes regional office said the one-year contracts were awarded to Armstrong Data Services Inc. Sidell La. Blue Chip Inc. Dayton Ohio Communications Products Inc. Indianapolis Nexus Unlimited Inc. Chicago Planning Technology Inc. Atlanta and Ralph G. Moore and Associates Inc. Chicago.

A GSA spokesman described the awards as "bridge contracts" that will meet agencies' IT needs until the region awards longer-term contracts as part of GSA's nationwide FAST program.

The only other GSA regional office to award bridge contracts under the FAST program was the Heartland region based in Kansas City Mo. GSA estimated that the 62 bridge contracts there produced about $20 million in March sales roughly half of the region's total FAST business for that month. The rest of the region's FAST sales in March went to GSA schedule vendors and holders of other governmentwide buying vehicles.

The Heartland region created the program later known as FAST more than two years ago. Officials at GSA headquarters in Washington D.C. questioned its legality. Last year they canceled the Kansas City contracts and announced a new nationwide FAST program based on the Heartland program.

A group of vendors who held contracts with Kansas City lobbied Congress to have their business with GSA reinstated and GSA relented late last year. Those contracts were re-awarded in February and became known as short-term bridge contracts.

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