Air Force adds 27 firms to services program

The Air Force last week awarded blanket purchase agreements to 27 additional vendors under a $750 million information technology services program, which eventually may include a mix of 75 large and small businesses.

The latest round of BPAs is part of the three-year Information Technology Services Program (ITSP), which will serve as the source of IT services for the Electronic Systems Center (ESC) at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., and four other Air Force bases.

The BPAs are being awarded under the General Services Administration schedule as part of an Air Force effort to streamline and shorten the acquisition cycle. The Air Force awarded the first 39 BPAs in December and plans to announce a third round of awards before the end of this month, potentially totaling more than 75 vendors.

"It's not going to be a scenario where everybody and their brother gets to bid," said Steven C. Linchey, the ITSP contracting officer. Rather, users will conduct market surveys to find teams with the most appropriate capabilities and makeup, he said.

ITSP customers are required to solicit bids from at least four vendors for all task orders worth more than $500,000, Linchey said. For orders worth less than $500,000, users are required to issue at least three solicitations.

Similar to the first group of awards, this second round includes many well-known names, such as Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., TASC Inc., Wang Government Services and Computer Sciences Corp., as well as a laundry list of longtime Air Force contractors, such as Sverdrup Technology, or small businesses with highly specialized skills, such as Sytel Inc.

Sverdrup Technology, a subsidiary of Sverdrup Corp., has supported the Air Force since the service's inception in 1947, providing engineering and technical support services on large omnibus contracts."The vast majority of our DOD business is in the Air Force," a company spokesman said.

Sytel, a woman-owned and operated company in Bethesda, Md., also was among the prime awardees in the second round. Founded in 1987, Sytel specializes in networking, client/server and software engineering, help-desk and training applications, and systems security solutions.

In addition, Sytel's unique offering includes a cadre of IT professionals with expertise in information assurance, according to Joe Howard, vice president of sales and marketing. The company plans to offer a full range of information assurance services, including baseline assessment and product installation, Howard said.

CSC, well known for its systems integration services, particularly in support of DOD, also is among the second round of BPA winners for ITSP.

According to Bill Flanagan, CSC's director of business development, the company has partnered with Sencom Corp., Bedford, Mass., and Business Plus Corp., Denville, N.J. The addition of Sencom and Business Plus will add skills in surveillance, radar, engineering and simulation support services to the CSC effort.Flanagan said the CSC team brings expertise and capabilities in high-end technology, which he said ESC has not always focused on in the past under the previous technical and engineering contract vehicle.

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