Eight vendors win contracts worth up to $1 billion each to offer products and services for secure messaging
With secure communications at the forefront of government concerns, the Pentagon Information Technology Services Center has awarded a series of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts collectively worth up to $8 billion to offer products and services for the Defense Messaging System.
Although the contracts are not related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — they have been in the works for more than a year — the award comes at a time when many agencies are looking at the kind of secure messaging capabilities that DMS provides, said Paul Anderson, PITSC project manager. DMS is the secure messaging system that is replacing DOD's Automatic Digital Network, commonly known as Autodin.
The main purpose of the contracts is to provide agencies and U.S. allies with a vehicle to buy hardware, software and services for secure communications, communications gateway systems and DMS use.
"There was really no good [single] place to go to find a group of vendors in DMS," Anderson said. "This is basically a centralized location where government agencies can go to purchase secure communications, particularly DMS products and services."
Often the only source for such equipment was Lockheed Martin Corp., the DMS prime contractor. These contracts will serve as another way for agencies to buy DMS products and services, said John Bicknas, director of new business development for Northrop Grumman Corp.
Larry Tureson, chief executive officer for Open System Sciences, said these contracts will enable government agencies to purchase equipment in order to share information in a time of crisis.
The center awarded the IDIQ contracts to eight vendors, and each of the five-year contracts has a $1 billion ceiling. The contracts were awarded in late October, but the vendors were not announced until November.
The eight vendors are:
* Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va.
* Computer & Hi-tech Management Inc., McLean, Va.
* CommPower, Camarillo, Calif.
* Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md.
* Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles.
* Open System Sciences, Newington, Va.
* Science Applications International Corp., San Diego.
* Telos Corp., Ashburn, Va.
NEXT STORY: GSA prepares to upgrade Firstgov