NIH follows up with CIO-SP 2
- By Greg Langlois
- Dec 20, 2000
CIO-SP home page
The National Institutes of Health awarded the follow-on to its pioneering
Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP) contract Tuesday.
The follow-on, CIO-SP 2, is potentially worth $19.5 billion and provides
federal agencies the opportunity to outsource information technology services
and support to 48 vendors.
CIO-SP 2 was awarded to 27 large companies and 21 small, disadvantaged and
woman-owned businesses. The firms provide IT solutions in nine general categories,
including IT operations and maintenance, integration services, critical
infrastructure protection and enterprise resource planning. The awards are
indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts with 10-year performance
CIO-SP 2 will give the government access to innovative technologies it would
otherwise have missed out on, said Elmer Sembly, associate director for
communications and outreach for NIH's Office of Administration.
"We did market research in order to find what new technologies are out there
that government is not utilizing fully," he said. "We found that a lot of
small businesses are developing these technologies."
The contract's structure enables small businesses to offer niche services
while also enabling large companies to offer their wide expertise, a combination
that a lot of governmentwide acquisition contracts weren't able to accomplish
before CIO-SP was created, Sembly said.
The first CIO-SP contract, awarded in 1996 and set to expire in September
2001, was one of the first to take advantage of new contracting techniques
allowed under procurement reform, such as prequalifying vendors to bid as
prime contractors. NIH awarded CIO-SP 2 well before the initial contract
expired so that users planning multiple-year projects would know which companies
they would be able to work with after September.
CIO-SP also charged a low 1 percent user fee for agencies contracting through
it, forcing fees on other contract vehicles to drop, Sembly said.
CIO-SP 2 will charge on a sliding scale, from a maximum of 1 percent to
a minimum of 0.25 percent, depending on an agency's use of 8(a) businesses
and the dollar amount of services they buy, Sembly said. The low fees indicate
"how much business we're expecting" from the new contract, he said.