Memo to promote use of NetCents

The Air Force’s chief information technology office is readying a new memo that will include policy, marketing and training information for the $9 billion Network Centric Solutions (NetCents) contract so it will be used more widely across the service.

The Air Force wants IT organizations in its major commands to use NetCents 80 percent of the time to buy IT products and services. The contract's use is significantly less than that right now, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Peterson, director of information, services and integration in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer (SAF/XC).

The Air Force used NetCents well during its first year. But the service could do better by properly educating and marketing the contract to IT organizations, which the new memo and policy directive will do, said Peterson, who spoke to attendees and held a media briefing today at Air Force IT Day, sponsored by the Northern Virginia chapter of AFCEA International. He will become chief of SAF/XC, the service’s top IT official, next month.

Peterson said he met earlier this week with IT leaders in the Air Force’s major commands to discuss the new NetCents memo. He said they discussed education and training measures related to the contract that might increase its use.

The Air Force awarded eight indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts last year, four to small businesses and four to large ones, under NetCents. The five-year program created a single contract to competitively buy IT products and services and increase the standardization of hardware and software servicewide.

The former Air Force CIO’s office issued a memo earlier this year mandating that the service use NetCents to buy IT products and services. Air Force officials said they needed to do a better job of marketing the contract and educating the service’s IT personnel about it.

The Air Force obligated $450 million worth of IT products and services on NetCents for fiscal 2005, the first year of the contract. Small businesses have excelled on NetCents, obtaining $251 million of the $450 million, or 58 percent of its dollars.

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