Contracts round up DMS offerings

With secure communications at the forefront of government concerns, the Pentagon Information Technology Services Center has awarded a series of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts collectively worth up to $8 billion to offer products and services for the Defense Messaging System.

Although the contracts are not related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — they have been in the works for more than a year — the award comes at a time when many agencies are looking at the kind of secure messaging capabilities that DMS provides, said Paul Anderson, PITSC project manager. DMS is the secure messaging system that is replacing DOD's Automatic Digital Network, commonly known as Autodin.

The main purpose of the contracts is to provide agencies and U.S. allies with a vehicle to buy hardware, software and services for secure communications, communications gateway systems and DMS use.

"There was really no good [single] place to go to find a group of vendors in DMS," Anderson said. "This is basically a centralized location where government agencies can go to purchase secure communications, particularly DMS products and services."

Often the only source for such equipment was Lockheed Martin Corp., the DMS prime contractor. These contracts will serve as another way for agencies to buy DMS products and services, said John Bicknas, director of new business development for Northrop Grumman Corp.

Larry Tureson, chief executive officer for Open System Sciences, said these contracts will enable government agencies to purchase equipment in order to share information in a time of crisis.

The center awarded the IDIQ contracts to eight vendors, and each of the five-year contracts has a $1 billion ceiling. The contracts were awarded in late October, but the vendors were not announced until November.

The eight vendors are:

* Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va.

* Computer & Hi-tech Management Inc., McLean, Va.

* CommPower, Camarillo, Calif.

* Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md.

* Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles.

* Open System Sciences, Newington, Va.

* Science Applications International Corp., San Diego.

* Telos Corp., Ashburn, Va.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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