AKO contract worth $602M

The Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Enterprise Services solicitation that was issued last week totals $602 million for the seven-year contract, according to documents posted online and an industry official.

Army officials did not include a total amount for the AKO Enterprise Services' request for proposals released Jan. 25, but they put the funding range between $80 million and $89 million in the draft RFP issued Sept. 20, 2004, according to the "Lifecycle Costs" chart in the document.

The average comes out to $86 million per year. With the solicitation calling for a one-year contract with six option years, the maximum value of the deal is $602 million.

Bob Guerra, a partner at the information technology consulting firm Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik & Associates, said the deal totals $80 million to $85 million per year.

Guerra said Army officials would follow performance-based contracting principles for the AKO Enterprise Services solicitation. "How do you increase the value of AKO so the warfighting community can really count on it?" he asked.

Prior to releasing the RFP, Army officials used a procurement option called an advisory downselect in which they asked vendors how they would operate and manage AKO. After reviewing the responses, they encouraged a handful of companies to submit bids. The companies include CherryRoad Technologies, the current operator of AKO; Booz Allen Hamilton; EDS; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman; SI International; Science Applications International Corp.; and Computer Sciences Corp, said industry officials familiar with the solicitation.

AKO subscribes 1.7 million people compared with 61,000 four years ago. Army officials want a company to manage that growth and complete technology updates to the Web portal.

Industry officials must submit their proposals by 11:30 a.m. March 24. To view the solicitation, go to https://acquisition.army.mil/asfi/attachment_view.cfm?psolicitationnbr=W91QUZ05R0001.

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