NOAA finalizes nine BPAs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finalized nine blanket purchase agreements last week to provide an easy and quick way for Commerce Department agencies to buy a variety of information technology services.

The BPAs cover: technical studies such as business process re-engineering; PC and local-area network support; telecommunications; and software development and maintenance. All Commerce agencies can buy from the BPAs.

Agencies that do not want to go through a long procurement process to acquire IT services may be attracted to the BPAs, said Diane Husereau, a contract officer at NOAA. "We're putting streamlining mechanisms in place," she said. Existing BPAs for PCs and workstations "have been very popular vehicles. They have helped everyone get good products and good prices."

Mark Kleckner, chief operating officer with Trawick & Associates Inc., which won a telecommunications BPA, said the small number of vendors chosen for the BPAs means his company will have more opportunities to capture business. "Unlike other BPAs that have 25 to 100 awardees, this is one of the most exclusive ones I've been involved with recently,'' he said.

Trawick was among three small businesses selected to provide telecommunications services. Kleckner said he and his competitors in this area offer "complementary'' skills, so he expects different NOAA projects will play to different vendors' strengths.

Base Technologies Inc. is the only small business selected to provide services in two categories: PC and LAN support, and telecommunications, said Heidi Gerding, president of operations at Base Technologies.

"We expect the BPAs to be widely used," Gerding said. "We have three subcontractors on our team. One of our subcontractors will serve as a teaming partner, so the government can also use our teaming partner's GSA schedule as well as ours, which makes labor categories more diverse for our customers."

Still, it will be up to the individual BPA holders to market their services to the government, which is something Base Technologies intends to do in earnest, Gerding said. "The success of the program lies on the success of the business itself," she said.

Frank Porto, vice president of ANSTEC Inc., another BPA winner, said NOAA is promoting the BPAs as the "vehicle of choice" among its employees. "This is an effort to try and reduce the time and effort that goes into a procurement," Porto said. "They would get discounts off of the bidders' GSA schedules and even further discounts based on" the volume of the buy.

Porto said ANSTEC chose its team members based on their ability to deliver services throughout the country, including NOAA field offices. "We want to provide the full coverage," he said.

BPA holders include:

TECHNICAL STUDIES

Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc.

Computer Sciences Corp.

GTE- Government Systems (teaming with RS Information Systems Inc.)

PC AND LAN SUPPORT

Base Technologies Inc. (teaming with Trellis Network Services)

QSS Group Inc.

RS Information Systems Inc.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Base Technologies Inc. (teaming with AAC Associates Inc. and HCI Technologies Inc.)

Reston Consulting Group Inc.

Trawick & Associates Inc.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE

ANSTEC Inc. (teaming with Battelle Memorial Institute, Sterling Software, Systems Engineering & Security Inc. and User Technology Associates Inc.)

Computer Sciences Corp. (teaming with Science and Technology Corp. and Riverside Technologies Inc.)

GTE- Government Systems (teaming with RS Information Systems Inc.)

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