1,500 jobs up for grabs at Energy, NASA

The Energy Department and NASA are honing plans to conduct competitions under OMB Circular A-76 that will pit vendor teams against groups of federal employees for major IT tasks. About 1,500 federal jobs are at stake.

Energy's competition will cover IT work carried out by employees at department headquarters and other offices where contractors don't already implement programs. About 5 percent of the department's IT work falls under what is covered by the planned A-76 competition, said Bob Wells, CIO of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.

The competition will cover the tasks of about 1,000 IT employees within the department.
Energy officials are gathering information needed to create a description of the work to be carried out.

According to Energy plans, the department will complete the competition by June of next year.
CIO office officials said the next step is publication of a final statement of work. The department has hired Jupiter Corp. of Wheaton, Md., to help plan the competition.

At NASA, the A-76 competition will be used to create a new Shared Services Center to perform IT and support work for the space agency.

The NASA plan calls for the center to provide financial management, human resources, procurement and IT services to headquarters and 10 NASA centers across the country.

NASA spokesman Doug Mirelson said six NASA centers are competing to host the new center: Glenn Research Center near Cleveland, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Langley Research Center in Virginia, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the Stennis Space Center in Louisiana.

'As for the number of total positions, the figure of approximately 500 has been out there, but it is too early to be precise,' Mirelson said.

Mix of competitors

Dozens of vendors have told NASA that they might take part in the A-76 competition. A mix of government and contract employees now carry out the support services covered by the competition.

The agency plans to issue a final solicitation strategy in July, receive proposals in September and award a contract in May of next year.

The draft acquisition plan noted that the center will focus on three areas of IT support:
  • IT management, including policy development, strategic planning, capital planning, resource management and program management

  • Systems development and engineering

  • Cybersecurity.

Much of the new center's accounts payable, payroll, travel reimbursement, property management, employee benefit and other administrative work also will demand extensive systems expertise.

NASA plans to fund the center by charging for services.

The agency said it would award a cost-reimbursement contract to pay for the deal should a vendor win the A-76 competition. Cost-reimbursement contracts are suitable only when uncertainties in contract performance prevent accurate cost estimates, NASA said.

The procurement plan calls for a five-year initial contract with a maximum term of seven years. NASA said it might shift to a fixed-price contract in the future.

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