Fedwire

Charge card contracts worth billions

The General Services Administration last week awarded six contracts to companies that will supply the next generation of federal government charge cards. Citibank, First National Bank of Chicago, Mellon Bank, NationsBank, American Express and US Bank will compete to issue charge cards to millions of government employees, who last year spent more than $8 billion of federal money with the plastic cards. For the complete story, check out www.fcw.com.

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OSTP chief retires

President Clinton announced last week that Jack Gibbons, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, is retiring from his post. Gibbons, who headed the congressional Office of Technology Assessment for 13 years before being confirmed by the Senate as Clinton's science adviser in 1993, helped Vice President Al Gore assemble the National Performance Review Team. Replacing Gibbons will be Neal Lane, director of the National Science Foundation. Clinton also announced his intention to appoint Rita Colwell, president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, to head the National Science Foundation.

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Andersen pulls out of Prime competition

Andersen Consulting, a subcontractor on one of the two teams vying for the Internal Revenue Service's Prime contract, has withdrawn, citing changes in the program's direction. Andersen was working as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin Corp. Electronic Data Systems Corp. is also heading a team.

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Micros-To-Mainframes deal canceled

One day after completing the sale of its federal product reseller business, BTG Inc. announced Feb. 13 that it had terminated its planned $25 million acquisition of Micros-To-Mainframes Inc., a commercial systems integrator. As required by the terms of the merger agreement, BTG will pay MTM $500,000 to terminate the deal. For more information, see www.fcw.com.

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NASA, OAO sign outsourcing pact

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory last week finalized a five-year, $200 million Desktop and Network Services outsourcing contract with OAO Corp. to support 7,000 PCs. Officials from JPL tapped OAO in August to begin negotiations for the contract award. Under the performance-based contract, OAO will provide personnel, computer hardware and software as well as equipment and support services for JPL's Engineering Science Directorate Information Systems Development and Operations organization.

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DOT plans ITOP follow-on

The Transportation Department plans to release a solicitation this summer for a follow-on to its Information Technology Omnibus Procurement that will be worth $5 billion to $17 billion over five to seven years, said Kim Taylor, chief information officer. For more information, go to www.fcw.com.

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Coalition seeks support for outsourcing

A business group including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council last week called on other members of industry to help form a coalition to lobby for two bills designed to outsource more government functions to the private sector. Details of the House bill, H.R. 716, the Competition in Commercial Activities Act, are expected to be hammered out in the first week of March.

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