NOAA to bid out $500M in IT work

Performance-Based Contract for Technical Services for the Operation and Maintenance of the Marine Observation Network

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a request for proposals for a technical service contract — worth up to $500 million — related to operational, logistical and information technology support for a system of automated meteorological sites and other weather measuring devices in coastal waters.

NOAA's National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) — comprised of employees from NOAA, the Coast Guard and a private contractor — designs, operates and maintains networks of environmental monitoring platforms in deep ocean and coastal regions that provide data to the National Weather Service.

The 10-year performance-based contract will provide life cycle support for the Marine Observation Network and Data Assembly Center, including operation, maintenance and repairs of buoy and land-based environmental data collection networks; operation of the NDBC facilities; testing of existing and new buoy systems; data processing and transmissions; logistics support; quality assurance and safety; and configuration and scientific support for new technology, development and test programs.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract will have $500 million ceiling with a 5-year base and a 5-year award term. The minimum guarantee is $250,000 over the life of the contract. NDBC's existing requirement is approximately $10 million per year.

"However, as the nation concentrates on improving the quality and understanding of the global ocean, NOAA is positioning itself to increase and improve their present ocean observation capability," the announcement noted. "Based on national dialogue, NDBC predicts a three-fold increase in its capability requirements in the next 10 years."

NDBC officials issued the draft request on Aug. 31 and plans to hold an Industry Day Sept. 15 at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The current contract holder, Science Applications International Corp., was awarded a 5-year, $32.4 million contract in early 2000.

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