Acquisition

NITAAC expects post-shutdown push

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The head of the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center anticipates a rush of business to its three governmentwide acquisition contracts as the federal government spins back up after the shutdown.

The shutdown is set to become the longest federal closure ever after Jan. 12.

NITAAC's leader, however, is looking ahead to buying activity after the shutdown ends.

"When the government reopens, agencies will still have to make their obligations based on the funding they received and their obligation deadlines," NITAAC Director Bridget Gauer told FCW via email. "With the shutdown, they will have a shorter timeframe for doing so. We anticipate that many of these awards will be made during the 4th quarter."

NITAAC, like NASA's Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement and the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Services GWACs, remain open for business.

Unlike SEWP and FAS, NITAAC's parent agency, the National Institutes of Health, is fully funded, said Gauer, so it remains fully staffed. The NASA and GSA GWACs operate on fees from sales and remain open, but the lack of appropriations mean they are doing so with some staff on furlough. SEWP program manager Joanne Woytek told FCW that her team’s staffing was at 95 percent during the shutdown.

Gauer also said NITAAC can add additional staff if needed, particularly after the shutdown ends, to support federal agency acquisitions.

NITAAC oversees three governmentwide contracts: CIO-CS, CIO-SP3 and CIO-SP3 Small Business, which cover IT commodities, services and solutions.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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