SEWP RFP posted?again

SEWP III homepage

The latest request for proposals for NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement contract was released March 1.

But no sooner was the RFP for or SEWP III posted, than NASA pulled it to update the pricing exhibits, a measure the agency took Monday after discovering a minor error in the locking protections of the exhibits.

NASA's SEWP III contract page should be fully open for business today.

NASA spokesman Brian Dunbar said an error made it possible for potential bidders to submit a bid based on incorrect data.

The specific problem was with spread sheets that vendors would download and use to put together their bids, he said. Once downloaded, it was possible to accidentally change some of the numbers that NASA included on the paperwork.

"There was a possibility that things could be changed, and they could be bidding based on incorrect numbers," Dunbar said.

SEWP III is a governmentwide purchasing vehicle for high-end workstations and peripherals that evolved out of a NASA plan nine years ago, said Joanne Woytek, SEWP manager for NASA.

The last two SEWP contracts proved popular among government users of high-end Unix and Microsoft Corp. Windows NT workstations. SEWP II, which ended in November, picked up about 1,000 orders each month. Over its four-year contract life SEWP II sales totaled about $1.5 billion, according to Woytek.

Although the first SEWP contract helped establish Unix as the unifying computer system within NASA, Windows NT and Linux systems have also found their ways into the SEWP contract vehicle.

With SEWP III, NASA expects new vendors and technologies to enter the program, a move that will keep the buying program competitive.

"Nine years ago there were no such vehicles available," Woytek said.

NASA created the program for its own purposes "to shorten the procurement cycle...and also to give NASA a good vehicle for high-end IT for its business," she said. The agency made it a governmentwide program at the request of the General Services Administration.

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