Small businesses split new GWAC 29 ways

Small businesses split new GWAC 29 ways

By Frank Tiboni

GCN Staff

The Commerce Department last week awarded 46 contracts to small, minority and women-owned businesses in the first government acquisition pact set aside for these companies.

Commerce awarded the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, worth up to $1.5 billion jointly over five years, under its Commerce Information Technology Solutions program.

'We developed the program to make a big dent in the direction and unintended consequences of our procurement system,' Commerce deputy secretary Robert L. Mallett said.

Improvements in contracting during the 1990s led to small, minority and women-owned businesses getting less of the contract pie, Mallett said.

In the numbers

He recalled Secretary William M. Daley pointing out in 1997 that only 3 percent of the Census Bureau's $157 million set aside for contracts went to minority firms.

'That's not going to happen again,' Mallett said.

About 1,000 companies either independently or through partnerships expressed interest in COMMITS.

Commerce received 209 proposals with 29 vendor teams winning contracts, said Mike Sade, COM-MITS acting director.'Mallet said companies on the teams represent all but six states.

COMMITS contracts will open for orders this month. Commerce will decide this week what it will charge outside of Commerce as an order fee, but the fee could run as low as 0.5 percent, Sade said.

The Agriculture, Interior, State and Treasury departments have expressed interest in buying services through COMMITS. Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office has pledged to award all of its $352 million in contractsfor fiscal 2000 to small businesses, Mallett said.

Commerce awarded the contracts in three service lots: information systems engineering, systems operations and management, and information systems security.

At a headquarters press conference, Mallett called the award process highly competitive. Having stressed quality during selection, he said the department will continue to monitor the winning teams to ensure that they hold up their end of the bargain.

'If they don't produce, we want them out,' Mallett said.

Also, Commerce will remain aggressive about weeding out large companies hiding behind small businesses in the COMMITS program. He said the department did not detect a problem during the interview process, having encouraged and given extra points to small businesses that teamed up.

COMMITS' request for proposals was issued on March 5, with proposals due on March 26. The department began hearing oral presentations on April 8.

Who's selling on COMMITS?

  • AC Technologies of Fairfax, Va.
  • Artel Inc. of Reston, Va.
  • Centech Group Inc. of Arlington, Va.
  • Command Technologies Inc. of Warrenton, Va.
  • Computech of Bethesda, Md.
  • Comso Inc. of Greenbelt, Md.
  • Data Industries Ltd. of New York City
  • Dichroma Inc. of Alexandria, Va.
  • Dynamic Technology Systems Inc. of Alexandria, Va.
  • Indus Corp. of Vienna, Va.
  • InfoPro Inc. of Silver Spring, Md.
  • Ingenium Corp. of Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • ITS Services Inc. of Springfield, Va.
  • Marasco Newton Group Ltd. of Arlington, Va.
  • Materials, Communication & Computers of Alexandria, Va.
  • Mentor Technologies Inc. of Lanham, Md.
  • Micro Star Co. of Jessup, Md.
  • Multimax Inc. of Largo, Md.
  • Nieto of Beltsville, Md.
  • Pragmatics Inc. of McLean, Va.
  • QSS Group Inc. of Lanham, Md.
  • RGII Technologies of Arlington, Va.
  • RS Information Systems Inc. of McLean, Va.
  • Sabre Systems Inc. of Warminster, Pa.
  • STG Inc. of Fairfax, Va.
  • Software Corp. of America of Beltsville, Md.
  • Technology Planning and Management Corp. of Durham, N.C.
  • TranTech Inc. of Alexandria, Va.
  • Vista Technologies Inc. of San Antonio


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