Bureau of Prisons, NOAA ink equipment, services BPAs

Bracing for a rush of fiscal-year-end orders, the Bureau of Prisons and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently negotiated blanket purchasing agreements.

The Justice Department’s BOP signed BOPNet 2000 BPAs with IntelliSys Technology
Corp. and Vanstar Government Systems Inc., both of Fairfax, Va. Under the BPAs, the
companies will supply PCs, printers, servers, software and related peripherals, said Ron
Williams Sr., BOP’s director of ADP contracting.

NOAA negotiated BPAs with Federal Data Corp. of Bethesda, Md., and Westwood Computer
Corp. of Springfield, N.J., said Robert Kidwell, chief of NOAA’s IRM staff.

The Federal Data contract includes Unix servers and workstations from Hewlett-Packard
Co., IBM Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc.; networking equipment from Cisco Systems Inc. of
San Jose, Calif.; and peripherals. Westwood’s BPA lets NOAA buy any of the goods and
services that the company sells on its General Services Administration schedule contract.

The BOPNet 2000 BPAs, which run through 2003, replace the BOPNet contract that
IntelliSys and another 8(a) vendor held, Williams said. IntelliSys’ contract expired
April 30.

BOP has 30,000 employees and will spend about $10 million on information technology
products and services this year, Williams said.

NOAA’s BPA with Westwood replaces one held by BTG Inc. of Fairfax, Va., that the
agency terminated when BTG sold its product division to Government Technology Services
Inc. of Chantilly, Va., earlier this year, Kidwell said.

The Commerce Department agency also has BPAs with Dell Computer Corp. and Gateway Inc.
through the NOAA Information Technology Electronic Store (NITES) program, Kidwell said.

NOAA’s BPAs, which give discounts of 2 percent to 7 percent below the
contractors’ GSA schedule prices, have rung up more than $20 million in sales in the
past 15 months, Kidwell said.

The NOAA BPAs are open to all Commerce agencies. To date, the Census Bureau has been
the dominant buyer, placing 45 percent of all total orders. NOAA buys make up about
one-third of the NITES total sales, Kidwell said.

Federal Data’s NITES contract replaces a series of contracts held by 8(a) vendors
for NOAA’s Scientific Workstation Contracts program. The original SCIWOC vendors were
Sylvest Management Systems Corp. of Lanham, Md., now a Federal Data subsidiary in
Greenbelt, Md., and McBride and Associates Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M.

In the latest iteration of SCIWOC, NOAA had awarded contracts to Data Procurement Corp.
of Rockville, Md., and Pulsar Data Systems Inc. of Lanham, Md. But Pulsar recently
graduated from the program and so lost its contract. To uphold NOAA’s commitment to
small-business contracting, the agency will continue with the Data Procurement SCIWOC
contract, Kidwell said.

NOAA also plans to award a series of BPAs for services in four categories: studies, PC
and LAN support, telecommunications and network integration, and software development and
maintenance. The agency has restricted the second and third categories to small
businesses, Kidwell said.

The agency will keep using 8(a) contracts and other means to satisfy its long-term
support needs, Kidwell said. “We’ll probably continue with a wide range of
service procurements,” he said. “We’ll see how [BPA buying] works. This is
an experiment for us.”

The BPAs let NOAA use a “streamlined procurement process and a partnership
relationship with vendors so they know what we want,” Kidwell said.  

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