Army jump-starts $1B global services buy

The Army has kicked off a systems integration and engineering procurement worth up to $1 billion that will provide Army installations and operations worldwide with the talent and expertise required to develop and maintain secure, state-of-the-art global information technology systems.

Total Engineering and Integration Services (TEIS), managed by the Army Information Systems Engineering Command (ISEC) at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., will consolidate into one omnibus vehicle the work that is being done under six existing contracts in four key mission areas. The combined program will allow "for an integrated approach in support of ISEC and its supported customers' mission," according to the draft request for proposals released late last month.

TEIS will support ISEC; its parent organization, the Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J.; and the Army Signal Command, also based at Fort Huachuca.

By rolling up its six existing support contracts into one omnibus procurement, ISEC "will be able to get all its life-cycle support in a streamlined manner," which should result in easier contract management with lower overhead, said Steve Harman, a program manager at Logicon Inc., a Northrop Grumman Corp. company, who is tracking the program.

The TEIS statement of work includes an all-encompassing and highly detailed information systems security engineering requirement designed to help the Army incorporate state-of-the-art security systems into its networks.

Role of Information Security

Thomas Michelli, a consultant in Wayside, N.J., who previously served as director of Army information systems at Fort Monmouth, called information security "a key component of this program.... It will allow the Army to 'design-in' information systems security rather than taking the Band-Aid approach [after the fact]. TEIS will help the Army with its 'defense in depth' protection strategy," consisting of intrusion-detection devices, firewalls and other network protection systems.

Pete Hedges, Army business opportunities group director at Computer Sciences Corp., described TEIS as providing integration services for the nontactical Army, the posts, camps and stations, all with a sizable IT infrastructure. ISEC's engineering mission covers a wide territory, including the Pentagon, Hedges said.

Sandie Wilde, the ISEC contracting specialist handling the TEIS procurement, said the Army plans to hold a pre-solicitation conference in the first or second week of August, with a final RFP due out the week of Sept. 13. She anticipates an award "in the first part of next year."

The Army plans to award three multiple TEIS contracts, two of which will be awarded to large businesses and the third set aside for small business. Each task order will be competed among the contractors.

Harman said the Army's contracting approach closely mirrors the strategy taken by the Defense Information Systems Agency with its Joint Engineering Interoperability Systems Engineering contract, a TEIS-like procurement tailored for DISA in which seven companies compete for task orders off the same contract vehicle.

Michelli and vendors jockeying for a piece of the TEIS action said that many integrators already have started to quietly form teams for a bid on the rich - and considering its size, fast-track - procurement.

Integrators expected to bid on TEIS include CSC, GTE Government Systems, Litton/PRC Inc., OAO Corp. and Science Applications International Corp.

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