SRA lands EPA pact

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday awarded SRA International Inc. a five-year, $124 million contract to help it update its business processes and its information systems architecture.

The Information Infrastructure Architecture Support Contract (IIASC) is the fourth of five agencywide pacts that that EPA has awarded during the past two years to cover its massive systems modernization plans. SRA will advise the EPA on development of its strategic plans, help evaluate new technologies, analyze agency systems requirements, develop prototypes and assess system performance.

The EPA plans next year to establish an annual $30 million fund to modernize its information systems, a project that involves business process re-engineering for individual systems and development of an agencywide information technology architecture. At the same time, the agency has set a goal to integrate its databases to reduce paperwork for the companies it regulates and to make information more accessible to the public.

Bernie Cohen, director of corporate business development with SRA, said IIASC "is the front end'' for such projects. He said his company will work closely with Science Applications International Corp., which holds a $263 million systems development contract with the EPA. IIASC "takes you through the requirements and policy support work all the way through prototyping, and [SAIC] picks up from there.''

Ted Harris, Year 2000 program manager with the EPA who was involved with crafting the procurement when he headed the agency's Information Technology Support and Acquisition Branch, said it will be up to individual program offices to decide whether they want to use the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, but "there are major projects that will be done on it.'' He said he could not specifically identify which projects SRA will be assigned until after the agency holds its initial meeting with the vendor.

Cohen commented that SRA will face competition from General Services Administration schedule contracts and other governmentwide pacts run by other agencies.

In addition to SRA's and SAIC's contracts, Lockheed Martin Information Support Services manages day-to-day network and computer operations under two other EPA contracts. The fifth contract in the EPA's suite, for voice communications support, is expected to be competed this year.

IIASC is the follow-on to a $35 million contract, called Information Technology Architecture Support, which was held by a small, minority-owned firm, Technology Planning and Management Corp. (TPMC). Emma McNamara, acting director of the EPA's Enterprise Information Management Division, said she used the ITAS contract to develop World Wide Web applications, among other projects.

Under the new contract, TPMC is among eight subcontractors, five of which are small businesses. Four of the eight are minority- or woman-owned. SRA bested KPMG LLP, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Avastar for the award.

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