NASA to consolidate three support contracts

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has begun working on a $122 million data analysis and systems development contract that eventually could evolve into a much larger pact open to all of NASA or the entire federal government.

The indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract (IDIQ) will consolidate three existing contracts that were crafted to provide system support and scientific-data-analysis support services for NASA's Space Sciences and Earth Sciences directorates.

The contract is part of a Goddard initiative to consolidate 35 existing support-services contracts into 19 contracts. Not all the contracts that will be merged are information technology procurements.

The incumbent contractors include Hughes STX Systems Engineering and Security and Research and Data Systems Corp. The contractor for the follow-on will be required to provide scientific-data analysis modeling and simulation development of flight project data systems and development of large-scale data management and delivery systems to the Space Sciences and Earth Sciences directorates.

Observing and Understanding

The Earth Sciences Directorate is charged with improving observations and understanding of global systems processes and trends such as global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. The Space Sciences Directorate researches the solar system the galaxy and the universe in partnership with national and international scientific communities.

Contract officer Lynne Hoppel said her office is working to develop a draft request for proposals with a possible award in August 1998. The procurement now is structured as a cost-plus-award contract but that could change she said.

"There's a real push [for] you to look to consolidate your requirements " she said. "There is a potential that this requirement could be consolidated for all of NASA or for all of the government to use. We'll go to headquarters with a master buy plan and they may say `We want you to change your plan.' "Dick Bishop vice president of Hughes STX said the company will be submitting a proposal for the consolidated procurement. Hughes has been performing software development as well as scientific and engineering support for the two NASA divisions.

Bishop said he was aware of discussions to transform the procurement into an IDIQ but said that he could not comment on specifics.

"If it does we would like to expand our activities in those areas primarily in the Earth and space sciences support " Bishop said. "We would see it as a growth opportunity."

Hettie Courtney head of the Earth Sciences Directorate procurement office at Goddard said that because the consolidation of the 30-plus contracts would be piecemeal it is difficult to determine the value of all the contracts that will be involved.

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