Army looks for knowledge portal proposals

Army contracting officials released the draft request for proposals today for the multimillion-dollar Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Enterprise Services procurement, previously called the AKO-Lead Systems Integrator contract.

"The purpose of the acquisition is to provide the most efficient management construct and to provide continuous system improvements in support of the AKO enterprise," stated the Sept. 20 Army memorandum, titled "Draft Request for Proposal Number W91QUZ-R-DRFP for the Army Knowledge Online-Enterprise Services Acquisition." To view AKO procurement documents, go to: acquisition.army.mil/asfi/attachment_view.cfm?psolicitationnbr=W91QUZ04RDRFP.

Army contracting officials issued the draft AKO Enterprise Services request for proposals to provide information to industry officials to obtain comments from them. Vendors can submit comments through Oct. 4, according to the Army memo.

Army officials want to hire a company to operate AKO and complete updates to the portal. They will award a one-year contract with six option years and will conduct the procurement using performance-based service contracting principles, the memo stated.

The Army's Web portal has become a management challenge, but in the best possible way. In four years, the number of subscribers to AKO increased from 61,000 to 1.7 million. During that time, the number of companies providing services to the portal also rose dramatically, from three to 43, according to service documents.

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