FBI taps five for services

The FBI last week awarded contracts to five small businesses to provide an array of technology services ranging from managing local-area networks to creating mapping software for tracking crime.

The contracts, under the FBI's Information Technology Support Program (ITSP), carry an estimated value of $125 million over four years, according to industry sources.

FBI officials familiar with the program either declined to comment or could not be reached. Sources familiar with the program said it is open to everyone in the FBI who may need information technology services, including data mining, data warehousing, network management, software engineering, geographic information systems development and Internet applications.

The winners are High Performance Technologies Inc., Century Technologies Inc. (Centech), Allied Technology Group Inc., Indus Corp. and Technology Planning and Management Corp. Mnemonic Systems Inc. had served as incumbent contractor for the program and bid on the current contract. But Mnemonic dropped out of the bidding after it was acquired by Nichols Research Corp. a year ago.

FBI officials will brief the new contractors May 13 on the scope of work under the program. Linda Cocalis, business development manager for Centech, said the contract represents the first prime contract her company has had with the FBI. Centech has worked with other Justice Department organizations.

Shivram Krishnan, president of Indus, characterized the FBI contract as a potential path for small companies to land more FBI work. "Having this vehicle will enable companies like Indus to gain some work within the bureau," he said.

The FBI set aside contracts for ITSP for small businesses only, and all subcontractors under ITSP also must be small businesses. For ITSP, the FBI defined small businesses as those that have an average revenue of $18 million or less over three years.

Finding subcontractors should not be difficult, said Richard Mackey, president of Capital Reps LLC, an IT market analysis firm in Reston, Va. "I think it should be pretty easy for small businesses to find other small businesses," Mackey said.

He said the requirement for subcontractors to be small businesses typifies a federal effort to channel more business to smaller companies. Mackey said some agencies still fall short of the federal goal of contracting 23 percent of work to small businesses.

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