USPTO reveals plans for 2008 IT procurements

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wants to bolster its information technology systems this year through several procurements.

The agency plans to issue four requests for proposals for five competitive IT procurements. The RFPs will cover systems and network engineering, database management, and help desk support. The potential contracts would replace existing contracts.

“USPTO needs a portfolio of contracts that can provide the flexibility to fulfill the majority of its IT services and needs,” the agency said in a Federal Register listing published Feb. 21.

The office also said it intends to extend some of those existing contracts to make way for the new ones.

For example, General Dynamics Information Technology holds the current contract for Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance. The contract provides systems design and IT engineering services to USPTO.

However, the office plans to conduct a multiple-award, open competition for similar services under the Infrastructure, Design, Engineering, Architecture and Integration program. The agency wants to award the contract by the end of August. Meanwhile, it will extend General Dynamics' contract on a sole-source basis until the end of September.

The other incoming RFPs include one for a multiple-award contract for independent verification and validation services and two small-business set-aside procurements to be awarded by the end of June; one for IT maintenance and support and another for help desk support.

The responsibilities within the help-desk and maintenance contracts currently fall under the Facilities Management and End User Support contract awarded to Trawick and Associates in 2003. SRA International currently performs the functions of independent verification and validation solicitation.

The office said that the latter RFP — which will not be ready until late fiscal 2008 — will contain strict conflict-of-interest clauses to prevent winners from seeking other IT contracts at the agency.

USPTO also said it is developing an acquisition strategy for certification and accreditation and real-time monitoring of IT systems, but said that solicitation would not be ready until late in this fiscal year.

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