TSA taps Unisys for IT services

The Transportation Security Administration has selected Unisys Corp. to get the fledgling agency's information technology infrastructure off the ground.

Pending availability of funds, TSA announced Aug. 2 that it will move forward with its Information Technology Managed Services (ITMS) task order, which will cover IT and telecommunications services that support desktop management, enterprise architecture development and cybersecurity operations.

In June, TSA issued a $1 billion statement of objectives for a program that emphasizes managed services, a relatively new procurement strategy in which an agency pays a company for technology solutions for a particular problem.

TSA stalled the acquisition while the Office of Management and Budget reviewed ITMS as part of a larger effort to create an integrated platform for the proposed Homeland Security Department. OMB last month froze more than $1 billion worth of IT projects planned at agencies, including TSA, which would shift to the proposed department.

In the agency's Aug. 2 announcement to proceed pending the availability of funds, TSA said that, in coordination with the Office of Homeland Security's CIO Investment Review Board, it will work with Unisys to deploy technologies at TSA headquarters and operations centers.

President Bush established TSA in November when he signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, mandating improvements in securing the nation's transportation systems. Since then, the agency has been building its organization from scratch.

"Technology is a vital part of our mission to ensure the security of our nation's airports," said James Loy, acting undersecretary of transportation for security, in an Aug. 2 news release. "Ensuring that our people have the best technology available to meet our mission is one of my highest priorities."

Unisys will team with DynCorp Systems and Solutions LLC and IBM Corp. on the project.

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