DISA seeks small vendors for $350m megacenter buy

The Defense Information Systems Agency last week issued a request for proposals for a
megacenter support acquisition worth up to $350 million.

The five-year, multiple-award contract will be set aside for small, disadvantaged,
minority and women-owned businesses and will feature a regional source selection process,
said Lt. Gen. Albert Edmonds, DISA's director.

Edmonds announced the procurement at a luncheon meeting of the Armed Forces
Communications and Electronics Association in Washington last month.

He said the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity buy will cover virtually
everything done at the Defense Department's 16 data centers.

The winning vendors will administer megacenter systems and databases, develop
applications, provide help desk support, do systems integration and supply storage
management and backup. DISA has dubbed the contracts DCOS, for defense computing
operations support.

DISA has posted the announcement of the DCOS procurement on its World Wide Web site at http:/
. According to a fact sheet uploaded to the site, DISA plans to award the
contracts by March 31 using streamlined source selections.

DISA expects to award at least two contracts per region. Regions match the Defense
Information Systems Network transmission services areas. But contractors in one region
will be able to sell services in any or all regions.

Although the buys reflect efforts to outsource more of the work at the centers, Edmonds
rejected the notion that DOD should completely outsource megacenter activities-a move
pushed by some vendors and lawmakers. He said that contractors already perform 87 percent
of the work at the data centers.

"So for all of your talk about outsourcing and privatization, we're actually doing
it," Edmonds told the AFCEA members. "It has been our strategy to get everybody
we can under contract so that if you can do something worthwhile, we can get to you"
without a lengthy procurement process.

The DCOS contracts come when the role of the megacenters-which numbered 194 as recently
as 1990-is changing.

Instead of merely doing batch data processing, the megacenters will become hubs for
DISN, the Defense Message System, the Global Combat Support System and other cross-service
programs, Edmonds said.

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