SRA nabs $42M Fedsim task order for IT at GAO

SRA International Inc. this month was awarded a $42 million task order through the General Services Administration's Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (Fedsim) program to provide information technology services at the General Accounting Office.

The task order was competed among contractors on Fedsim's indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity program for systems integration services.

Under the five-year task order, SRA will support network operations, maintenance support, systems security and software engineering at GAO. The task order supports the entire GAO communications infrastructure of servers, routers, concentrators and miles of fiber-optic and copper cabling that connect nearly 5,000 users and more than 60 servers in the Washington, D.C., area. It also supports wide-area network services at GAO's 16 field offices and audit sites nationwide.

"What's significant about this is it's a task-order award," said Hal Boylan, vice president for federal civil agencies at SRA. Fedsim is a "very different type of IDIQ" that allows task orders to be awarded very quickly; in this case, it only took 11 weeks, Boylan said.

"If they can get a $42 million award out in a matter of months, then it saves the government a tremendous amount of money and time," Boylan said. One of the benefits to GAO under the contract will be the consolidation of work previously done by several contractors, Boylan said.

SRA replaces an 8(a) company in the area of network operations and a small business on maintenance support. Until now, GAO has used government personnel to handle security, while software engineering was covered by Peace Technologies Inc., Litton/PRC Inc. and Troy Systems Inc.

Although Fedsim has awarded double-digit task orders in the past, the size of that type of contract has been growing, said Bob Dornan, senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc.

SRA, for example, won a $52 million task order through Fedsim in October 1996 to do a systems integration job for the Navy at Puget Sound, Wash., said Lisa Akers, senior project manager at Fedsim. The biggest Fedsim task order, with an estimated value of $118 million, was won by Computer Sciences Corp. for work at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Akers said.

Fedsim considers the value of a task order to be an estimate because the systems integrator has to earn the estimated amount over the period of the contract by exercising all the optional tasks, Akers said.

A company has to know the contract system and have a quick response to land an award through a task order, Dornan said. "A quick turnaround— ready to react almost instantly with your white paper and presentation— is a key to success," he said.

Dornan said that in the past, companies had the luxury of opportunities popping up, which allowed companies to focus their resources. "Under the new strategy, you've got to be out there beating the bushes and investigate these opportunities," Dornan said.

SRA competed against five other companies for the task order. They were Advanced Technology Systems, Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., Computer Sciences Corp., Dynamic Research Corp. and Science Applications International Corp. Only two companies on the IDIQ— VGS Inc. and J.D. Van Dyke & Associates Inc.— did not compete.

To boost participation, Fedsim hosted an industry day at which the director of GAO's Office of Information Management Center spoke, and companies were given a tour of GAO's facilities, Akers said.

SRA has formed partnerships with NCI Information Systems Inc., Peace Technologies, Troy Systems and Vanstar Corp. to help fulfill the contract.


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