Army signs up for NIH contracts

The Army's Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., is partnering with a National Institutes of Health acquisition center to purchase hardware and software at a discount.

The project is expected to increase traffic to the Web sites of the governmentwide acquisition contracts under NIH's banner and eventually earn a fee for the Army for purchases off the GWACs.

"We bring to the table a lot of resources in contracts that are comprehensive in nature and other things the Army would need to procure quickly," saidElmer Sembly, associate director for communications and outreach at NIH's Office of Administration.

The deal gives the Army access to Web sites operated by NIH's Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (nitaac.nih.gov).The NITAAC operation pioneered the Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners (CIO-SP) contract and other vehicles that take advantage of new contracting techniques allowed under procurement reform.

Under the agreement, NITAAC gets a 1 percent fee that will be split with the Army once its purchases reach a threshold of $170 million.

"It is a new window of opportunity for dealing with Fort Monmouth. In the past, they had internal contracts that were mandated," said Louis Dorsey of ECS Technologies Inc., a small systems and management company.

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