NIH awards ECS III vehicle
- By Judi Hasson
- Dec 01, 2002
NITAAC home page
The National Institutes of Health's Information Technology Acquisition and
Assessment Center (NITAAC) has selected 66 vendors with high-level security
clearances to be part of a new contracting vehicle it hopes will become
the choice for agencies seeking homeland security products and services.
NITAAC named the 66 vendors (see list) to be part of the
Electronic Commodity Store III, the latest governmentwide acquisition
contract under the NIH banner. The 10-year ECS III contract is worth an estimated
$6 billion, NITAAC officials said today in announcing the award.
"We want to make this the homeland security vehicle of choice," said
Elmer Sembly, communications director at NITAAC.
Thirteen large, 29 small, and 24 small, disadvantaged businesses were
selected. Nearly 90 companies applied for the contract, and procurement
officials took an extra two months to come up with the final list and run
vendors through a technical checklist.
"This contract is very important to a lot of vendors out there.... This
contract has the Office of Management and Budget behind it," said Leamon
Lee, associate director for administration at NIH and director of the Chief
Information Officer Solutions and Partners 2 contract.
Alan Bechara, president and general manager of PC Mall Gov, a reseller
of microcomputer products, says he is ecstatic that his company was selected
for ECS III. Although PC Mall lacks a security clearance, it has arrangements
with partners that do.
"It means a great deal for us. This program is designed to take advantage
of our strength," Bechara said. "Our comfort zone is in the delivery of
high-speed competitive processes. [Buyers] can shop for whatever they need
without leaving their desks."
The contract vehicle is designed to have a quick turnaround on purchases
as little as seven days an important issue as the federal government
sets up homeland security, according to Lee.
The contract could include many off-the-shelf products for homeland
security, such as biometric tools and handheld electronic devices, Sembly
The vehicle is likely to attract a large customer base. The ECS II contract,
which expired in September, made $1.2 billion over five years. Federal agencies
pay a 1 percent fee when buying from the contracting vehicle.