Commerce awards mega-IT pact to support small, minority firms
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Jun 28, 1999
The Commerce Department today announced the winners of a massive governmentwide information technology services contract that has a primary goal of funneling business to small and minority businesses.
Commerce awarded its Commerce Information Technology Solutions (Commits) contract to 29 small, minority and woman-owned businesses. The contract could be worth as much as $1.5 billion.
Commits is an effort to "level the playing field in support of small and minority IT firms who are increasingly missing out on the IT services boom occurring in the Washington region and throughout the nation," according to a Commerce statement.
Small, minority and woman-owned IT businesses have had a difficult time competing for government work since procurement reforms changed the way agencies can buy IT—for example, using blanket purchase agreements, which are based on the General Services Administration schedule, and so-called contract bundling, which is the practice of combining several small contracts into a single large contract. Many small, minority and woman-owned companies are not on the GSA schedule, and small-business advocates argue that contract bundling often shuts out small businesses because they do not have the resources to support the larger contract.
Commerce awarded the contracts in three functional areas: Systems Engineering, Systems Operations and Maintenance, and Systems Security. The winners, by category, are: Systems Engineering
Technology Planning and Management
Systems Operations and Maintenance