OSD turns to seat management, Lockheed

Office of the Secretary of Defense officials used Clinger-Cohen Act and procurement reform provisions in negotiating a seat management contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. late last year.

Whether the agreement reaches its $400 million estimated value over 10 years largely depends on whether Pentagon organizations decide to sign on to it.

OSD negotiated a blanket purchasing agreement based on Lockheed's General Services Administration information technology schedule contract, said Fred Augusti, Lockheed Martin's vice president of business development for messaging systems.

Using the already-awarded GSA IT schedule—rather than a requirements-based indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract—enabled OSD to cut down on the time it took to award the contract and avoid the possibility of a vendor protest. It's also relatively easy for OSD to cancel the BPA if the contractor doesn't perform up to the office's standards.

Prior to the November award, OSD officials also implemented key provisions of the Clinger-Cohen Act, which establishes the basis for managing agency IT programs.

Art Money, DOD's chief information officer, determined that supporting enterprise e-mail, network services, application development and support, information assurance and document management were not core functions of his organization, according to an official familiar with the matter.

Money gave his approval to outsource that work, and officials reviewed each vendor's past performance on seat management contracts.

Because each assistant secretary and undersecretary of Defense has its own network management staff or on-site contractors, it remains to be seen how many other OSD organizations will use the Lockheed BPA and how extensively they'll use it. However, the potential is there for 8,000 users to tap into the BPA. Some users have both classified and unclassified messaging accounts.

Lockheed will assume full management of networks and support for 800 users in the office of the assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence by June, Augusti said.

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