Intercepts

The Interceptor's antennas are folded again this week while he's off taking in the sights in foreign lands. The FCW staff who remain stateside, however, have set up dishes to intercept the latest IT scuttlebutt at DOD and civilian agencies.

VIVE NIMA. For weeks, the buzz in geospatial circles has been that the National Imagery and Mapping Agency would not see many more anniversaries. Since it was formed in October 1996 by merging several military and intelligence components, the agency has had its detractors. Word has it that a Defense Science Board task force is looking at NIMA and has found the agency hasn't accomplished all it was created to do.

We've picked up signals, however, that the folks at the top are still gung-ho on keeping NIMA alive. Word on the street is that DepSecDef John Hamre, speaking a while back at the retirement ceremony of NIMA director Rear Adm. Jack Dantone, said DOD leadership is committed to keeping the agency intact. We also hear that Hamre said DOD leaders are tired of the snapping and sniping over whether NIMA is a dud.

One thing's for sure: The snapping will continue.

THE TELECOM DUEL. When the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Service expressed an interest last year in offering telecom services on the schedule program, it received a letter from Bob Woods, former commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service. The gist of the letter was "back off." Woods asserted that GSA telecom services fell in the domain of FTS.

Woods has since retired and has been replaced by Dennis

Fischer, who has said he does not want to engage in turf wars with FSS and that telecom services should be available to GSA customers from whatever venue is most convenient to them.

But vendors are still complaining that FTS officials have been unreceptive to their requests to be allowed to sell via the schedules program. Officials at FSS said last week they still have no concrete plans to offer telecom services, as much as they'd like to. Looks like the FSS/FTS split remains.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Speaking of GSA and NIMA, it appears that NIMA has lost patience and has created a mapping services contract of its own, rather than in conjunction with GSA, as originally planned.

NIMA, as well as other agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, had been working with GSA to create a special section of the GSA schedule that would let agencies buy mapping services from vendors through a one-stop-shopping master vehicle. The planned vehicle also would incorporate the qualifications-based selection process, which focuses foremost on a vendor's qualifications rather than best value.

But NIMA has gone on its own with an RFP for an Omnibus Geospatial Information and Imagery Intelligence Services contract. You can get details on the RFP at NIMA's World Wide Web page, www.nima.mil.

We hear GSA is holding a forum July 22 on creating a geo-spatial production services schedule.

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