Fedwire

FAA officially awards ICEMAN to USDA

As expected the Federal Aviation Administration last week awarded the Agriculture Department's National Information Technology Center an outsourcing contract potentially worth $250 million over eight years. Called Integrated Computing Environment-Mainframe and Networking (ICEMAN) the contract will provide data processing services to the FAA and other Transportation Department offices.

The systems that will run on ICEMAN affect many facets of FAA operations including management of aviation safety data and administration of payroll personnel and financial files.

Wright-Patterson debuts super-center

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Ohio officially opened its new supercomputer center last week which will offer users the world's largest memory capability.

Wright-Patterson is one of four Defense Department major shared-resource centers which provide 450 military scientists and engineers with advanced computational power to solve complex problems. The new center boasts a Cray Research Inc. C916 an IBM Corp. 9076 SP2 and a Silicon Graphics Inc. Origin 2000 among other large computers.

A year ago the Air Force awarded a $53 million contract to Huntsville Ala.-based Nichols Research Corp. to build the major shared-resource center. That contract is estimated to be worth $157 million over an eight-year period. The Nichols contract contains provisions for hardware and software maintenance systems integration and continuous operation.

FAR 15 rewrite critic praises new plan

A major critic of the Clinton administration's proposal to rewrite Part 15 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation said a revision to the plan released last week is a "positive step."

Alan Hald vice chairman of MicroAge and head of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) said the new proposal requires further study but noted many of CompTIA's comments had been adopted. Last year CompTIA's chief lobbyist Bruce Hahn was chairman of the procurement committee of the Small Business Legislative Council a coalition of small-business groups that strongly opposed the rewrite.

Critics of the original proposal including CompTIA had complained that as written it would discourage agencies from considering small firms for contracts.

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