The CDC's CIO outlines plans for the agency's largest IT contract, which is also the first Multiple Award Contract.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in the final stages of preparation for requesting bids for its largest information technology contract, worth up to $2 billion. The contract is the first of its kind there, according to the agency’s Chief Information Officer James Seligman.
The upcoming CDC Information Management Services contract (CIMS) is the agency’s first Multiple-Award Contract, which means it will be awarded to multiple recipients, Seligman said in an interview Aug. 6. The winners will be eligible to bid for task orders totaling up to $2 billion over 10 years, he said.
“We are anticipating about four million labor hours per year on this,” Seligman said. “That is about $1 billion to $2 billion over 10 years.”
The contract will cover three major domains — information management, consulting and IT infrastructure, including operations and maintenance — and is a successor to previous IT management contracts for the agency, he said.
“We have been doing this for 25 years, and each time it gets bigger,” Seligman said. “This is the first time ever we are using a multiple-award contract. That is a major shift.”
The agency has been preparing for about 18 months to issue the request for proposals expected in November, Seligman said. On July 31, the CDC started a multi-step advisory request, a procedure in which potential bidders may submit ideas and receive preliminary advice on whether they are qualified. The CDC also held a pre-solicitation conference with potential bidders in June.
“We are having a very open, transparent and engaging interchange with the industry,” Seligman said.
The contract will include IT operations and maintenance, which includes 15,000 work stations and operations in 50 countries, as well as upgrades to carry out the CDC’s IT strategic plan. The agency is involved in improving public health and disease research, which requires large IT systems for information collection, storage and exchange.
“We are constantly evolving and upgrading our IT infrastructure,” Seligman said. “We are moving into Web 2.0 and adopting brand-new technologies.”
The contract also includes IT management and consulting services to assess business practices and workflow needs related to the new IT infrastructures. But there will be a firewall to ensure protection against organizational conflicts of interest, he added, saying that consultants who are advising on a strategy will not be allowed to bid on implementation of that strategy.
The current contract is held by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.
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