GSA awards $243M services pact to Signal

The General Services Administration's Eastern Region last month awarded a five-year contract for information technology support services worth up to $243 million to Signal Corp. Fairfax Va. The contract awarded under the auspices of GSA's Federal Information Systems Support Program (FISSP) will offer an array of IT services to federal users in Delaware Maryland New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Virginia and West Virginia. Stephen Rhodes the former acting director of the region's FISSP office who retired from government work on Aug. 8 said the contract will support applications such as personnel payroll financial management logistics and telemedicine. "It basically consists of any kind of program application that is not scientific " Rhodes said. "It could range from developing a simple Java application to designing a complex multi-agency financial tracking system." Roger Mody chief executive officer at Signal said the company would provide up to 6 million work hours and currently has 150 people to cover 13 types of tasks. Those tasks include requirements definition and design computer security analysis systems development software maintenance and Year 2000 solutions. He said the company has already received orders for seven of the 13 areas with the remaining six expected to filter in by the end of the fiscal year. Mody noted that Signal also holds the region's FISSP contract for scientific and engineering support services awarded two years ago. Unlike last month's award the company's previous award was a sole-source 8(a) set-aside. He said the company's outstanding performance on that contract led to the competitive award last month. "We feel very vindicated that we were able to do a good enough job for the customer that we were able to win a full-and-open competition " Mody said. FISSP serves all agencies with 60 percent of the work from the Defense Department Rhodes said. The largest users in the past have been within the Navy the Army the Environmental Protection Agency the Federal Aviation Administration and the Coast Guard. GSA tacks on a 7.8 percent surcharge to each FISSP order to cover administrative costs Rhodes said. The surcharge pays for procurement costs and for IT managers who monitor the contractor's work and compliance to requirements. According to Rhodes FISSP rates are substantially lower than average industry charges even with surcharges added. He said a local-area network manager can be hired through FISSP at $41 an hour compared with the average industry rate of $67 an hour.

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