SEWP's off: Power failure briefly shutters NASA's tech contract

Shutterstock image 1170026143 Casimiro PT / 

A power failure at the suburban Washington, D.C., building housing NASA's Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract vehicle knocked out service for up to two days.

NASA is working to working to restore operations within 24 hours.

Joanne Woytek, program manager at SEWP, said technical staff had been testing a "fail-over facility" for SEWP's operations the Saturday before the outage struck.

"The technical staff working on that fail-over facility are focused on finalizing the remaining issues, and there is a possibility of switching to that system later today," she said on Feb. 25.  "So we are working to have full functionality restored within 24 hours and possibly much sooner."

The almost-completed High Availability System being tested has been in the works for the last year, she said. If the system had been implemented before the failure, it would have automatically switched the live system to a backup at another location. SEWP is putting the final network adjustments on that system.

"We recognize the importance of having a fully operational system available at all times for both government and industry and regret that we had not been able to complete the testing in time to prevent this shutdown.  After this week, we will have that backup functioning and be able to avoid any similar loss of service in the future," she said.

In the meantime, SEWP is reaching out to its contract holders to allow them to respond to requests for quotes, as well as to its government customers about the power outage. Additionally, SEWP's phone systems and help line are still operational.

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, 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 or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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