DIA taps 8 for commodity buys worth $200M

The Defense Intelligence Agency last week awarded eight blanket purchase agreement contracts for PCs and peripherals together worth about $200 million.

The DIA Information Technology Commodities BPAs, awarded to BTG Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., CWPS Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Inacom Government Systems Inc., Intelicom USA, Oracle Corp. and Tracor Enterprise Solutions Inc., will offer servers, desktops, notebooks, networking products, monitors, scanners, printers and plotters.

The BPAs will replace DIA's Systems Acquisition and Support Services Hardware II (SASS II) PC and peripherals contracts, a series of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity pacts that expire April 30.

DIA chose to award BPAs, which are based on contracts awarded on the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, because BPAs offer a faster turnaround time, according to vendors.

"Under the IDIQs, they competed everything, and that slowed down a lot of things," said Kevin Apsley, vice president of strategic programs at BTG, which is also on SASS II. "They wanted to be able to turn requirements a lot quicker."

DIA officials could not be reached for comment.

BTG plans to serve as a reseller and offer Compaq and Dell PCs to customers who want the systems with third-party components. BTG also plans to offer networking products from Cisco Systems Inc. and Fore Systems Inc.

Other BPA winners could not be reached for comment.

The other SASS II contracts - including Unix-based systems, communications equipment and Tempest products - do not expire until May 2002. However, the SASS Software contracts expire June 25, and DIA is considering whether to turn those contracts into BPAs as well, Apsley said.

DIA's decision to award its newest round of commodities contracts as BPAs instead of the standard IDIQs follows closely the Air Force's award of six similar BPAs last month under its new Information Technology Tools strategy. Those contracts are thought to be worth more than $450 million altogether over two years.

The Air Force's Standard Systems Group developed the IT2 strategy to replace its Desktop V and other IDIQ contracts, such as Unified Local Area Network Architecture II, with BPAs over a period of five years.

Like DIA, the Air Force wanted a quicker acquisition process, and SSG awarded the first contracts two weeks after receiving proposals.

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