Procurement briefs

Critics skeptical of NSA’s acquisition changes; Justice awards three contracts worth $950M; Air Force awards e-commerce task order

NSA’s tech reorg faces uphill road to win over critics

Critics skeptical of NSA’s acquisition changes
With Prescott Winter’s recent appointment to the new position of chief technology officer, the National Security Agency is moving to revitalize how it plans for and buys technology. All signs indicate the road Winter will travel may not be an easy one.

Security experts say the agency faces skepticism in Congress about the effectiveness of its new technology transformation effort – named Turbulence – which aims to give the agency tools to fight terrorism in cyberspace and conduct global surveillance of new digital communication devices.

NSA must overcome lingering doubts arising from missteps with its canceled multibillion-dollar technology modernization program, Trailblazer. In addition, NSA faces scrutiny from civil-liberties advocates about NSA technologies used in controversial wiretapping authorized by President Bush.

NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander appointed Winter as part of an internal reorganization, according to an April 4 memo obtained by the Baltimore Sun. It is the first major shake-up by Alexander since he arrived at the agency in August 2005. Winter is a career NSA employee and former head of its Commercial Solutions Center.

The reorganization at NSA coincides with similar shake-ups at other intelligence agencies. Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell announced a 100-day reform plan last month that includes technology and acquisition improvements.

Justice awards three contracts worth $950M
Three major information technology companies will compete for Justice Department task orders through a $950 million, six-year umbrella contract to provide automated litigation support services. Justice could use the new agreements to help consolidate its diverse fleet of litigation case management systems.

CACI International, Labat-Anderson and Lockheed Martin received awards earlier this month under the Mega 3 contract to provide the services. The companies will help operate and maintain the department’s case management systems on an indefinite-quantity, indefinite-delivery basis, according to procurement documents and vendor notices.

Each company will have the opportunity to bid on task orders for work under the Mega 3 contract.

Justice formerly used Mega 2 systems support services contracts to help operate case management systems in the headquarters offices of its civil, antitrust, civil rights, criminal, environmental and natural resources divisions in addition to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. The department’s tax division is developing a separate litigation support program, according to procurement documents.

In addition, dozens of U.S. attorneys’ offices nationwide have built and now operate their own case management systems.

Justice is the lead agency for the litigation Case Management Line of Business project sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget. The FBI, Justice’s law enforcement arm, is building the Sentinel investigative case management system as the lead agency for OMB’s investigative case management project.

Air Force awards e-commerce task order
NCI Information Systems will provide a Web-based e-commerce system to the Air Force under a Network-Centric Solutions task order valued at about $2 million.

The e-commerce capabilities become part of AFWay II, an initiative expected to eventually replace the AFWay system. 

The Air Force will use the system for purchasing information technology. The company’s responsibility includes providing measures to enforce government rules and workflow requirements and integrate financial management functions with the existing AFWay system.

The new system also will support the Information Technology Commodity Council’s strategic-sourcing initiatives.

For more procurement news, visit Washington Technology’s Web site at www.washington technology.com.

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