Treasury plans a $200m IDIQ

The two-year Treasury Department Acquisition-3 contract, which the department plans to
award in March, will supply desktop and notebook computers, networking products,
peripherals, printers, servers, software and services, according to market researcher
Input of Vienna, Va.

IRS will manage the buy, which initially will be open to Treasury organizations. Later,
the department might open TDA-3 to all federal agencies, an IRS spokesman said.

TDA-3 will have two parts--a pair of full-and-open contracts and a small business
set-aside. Companies cannot bid on both parts.

Interested bidders are in suspense about the plans of Dell Computer Corp., which has a
large user base at Treasury. Vendors are speculating on whether Dell might bid on TDA-3 as
a prime contractor, after selling on TDA-2 through reseller BTG Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

BTG inherited the contract after acquiring Concept Automation Inc. of Sterling, Va.,
and Treasury has extended Concept Automation's TDA-2 contract until the award of TDA-3.

But Treasury's TDA-3 acquisition strategy "is not consistent with end-user buying
habits," said Bob Guerra, president of Guerra and Associates of Oakton, Va.
"They've been buying Dell for eight years, but a fully configured Dell solution is
not going to win this contract."

Guerra predicted Treasury users will resist TDA-3, because "historically, they
don't buy on price, they buy on value" and are willing to pay extra for reliable
systems delivered on time, he said.

Oscar Fuster, chief operating officer for potential bidder International Data Products
Corp. of Gaithersburg, Md., said his company has been "competing with Dell on price,
and they're getting pretty aggressive. Dell seems permanently ingrained in people's
minds" at Treasury.

The contract will compete with Treasury Distributed Processing Infrastructure (TDPI)
BPAs awarded to General Services Administration schedule contract holders earlier this
year, particularly that of Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va., for Microsoft Windows software,
hardware and peripherals.

Treasury officials are working to position the TDPI BPAs, which feature Unix networking
products, as follow-ons to the Treasury Multiuser Acquisition Contract. TDA-3, in
contrast, focuses more on office automation and the single desktop environment.

TDA-3 bids were due Dec. 8. Vendors must submit best-and-final offers by Feb. 16.

IRS officials will base the selection on the lowest price that meets minimum technical
specifications, an agency spokesman said, though past performance also will be considered.

Besides Dell and IDP, potential bidders reportedly include BTG; Digital Equipment
Corp.; Dunn Computer Corp. of Sterling, Va.; Government Technology Services Inc. of
Chantilly, Va.; and Win Laboratories Ltd. of Manassas, Va. GTSI and Win Labs have held
previous TDA contracts.

One reseller said the buy is all about price.

"They're not evaluating anything other than price," said Mark O'Donnell, vice
president of business development at Sysorex Information Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

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