Fedwire

SAIC earns $263M EPA contract

The Environmental Protection Agency last week awarded Science Applications International Corp. a $262.9 million systems development contract to support its most mission-critical applications, including the Safe Drinking Water Information System and systems used to track toxic waste cleanup.

The Mission-Oriented Systems Engineering Support (MOSES) contract is the follow-on to a contract SAIC has held for the past six years. The EPA spent almost 75 percent more money on that contract than it planned and recently increased its spending limit to $242 million. MOSES has been the primary contract the EPA has used to develop and maintain its nationwide computing infrastructure.

Ted Harris, former EPA branch chief for information technology support and acquisition, said SAIC will help the agency upgrade its systems for the Year 2000 following independent tests that are expected to begin next month.

For the full story, go to www.fcw.com.

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GAO turns back Stars protests

The General Accounting Office last week denied a protest by Keane Federal Systems Inc. over a massive services contract awarded by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The contract— one part of the $1.2 billion Service Technology Alliance Resources (Stars) program— was awarded in June to Electronic Data Systems Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. The contract carries an estimated value of $750 million over five years. Keane had argued that its proposal "offered better value as measured by the evaluation criteria of the solicitation than the proposals selected."

Also last week, INS officials denied a protest filed by CTA Inc. over the cancellation of one lot of the Stars program. The lot, which was never awarded, would have covered independent verification and validation (IV&V) of work performed under other portions of the Stars program. David Goldberg, deputy associate commissioner for information resources management at INS, said agency officials plan to pursue an IV&V contractor through another procurement vehicle.

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NIST moves to eliminate FIPS

The National Institute of Standards and Technology last week released a proposal to eliminate 31 of its 67 federal information processing standards (FIPS) publications for technology or standards that have become obsolete or have been replaced by industry standards.

FIPS are computer standards that agencies are required to follow when purchasing or deploying information technology products. Among those targeted for elimination are standards for the use of Cobol and Ada as well as guidelines on software maintenance. None of the standards that NIST officials propose for withdrawal includes product validation programs, such as the highly visible FIPS 140-1, which requires agencies to use encryption products that have been validated by NIST.

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IG hits DOD on Y2K

The Defense Department is failing to take the necessary steps to minimize the impact of the Year 2000 crisis on operations, according to internal reports released over the past month by the DOD Inspector General.

An abstract of a classified report on base communications systems shows that "of 268 telecommunications switches identified by DOD components as Y2K-compliant, 131 will not be compliant by the [Office of Management and Budget] March 1999 deadline."

The IG also reported that the Pacific Command had not developed a complete inventory of all facility infrastructure systems and equipment and is therefore "unable to assess the magnitude of its Y2K problem." According to another report on the Defense Technology and Security Agency, DTSA "did not complete Y2K compliance checklists for any systems that it owned and maintained...because it was not knowledgeable of the DOD management plan."

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