DOD's top IT office will outsource systems work

DOD's top IT office will outsource systems work

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

The Office of the Secretary of Defense plans to outsource all common applications and information security services for its 5,500 unclassified users.

The new contract 'will give us one belly button to push' and make it easier to measure vendor performance, said Paul R. Brubaker, deputy chief information officer for DOD. At least 15 contractors already manage some portion of OSD's systems enterprise, so the new contract would consolidate those services, he said. Roughly 95 percent of the systems staff in the CIO's office are contract employees.

OSD will mandate that all its users shift common applications and security requirements to the contract. The OSD organizations will have the option of purchasing other services through the outsourcing deal, he said. Those services will be LAN management, desktop PC management and applications unique to the individual organizations.

OSD is in the policy business, not systems development and operations, Defense's Paul Brubaker says.

Four go outside

'We think there will be several organizations within OSD that will outsource all four areas,' which is what the CIO's office plans to do, Brubaker said.

OSD has a mixture of asynchronous transfer mode, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet networks.

'We want to go to Gigabit [Ethernet] to the desktop,' said Scott Ducar, technical director of network operations in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I).

The first phase of the project will begin late this year.

'I'm hoping to get things teed up' for the political appointees who take over C3I next year, Brubaker said.

It makes sense for OSD to hand off the network and systems security work to vendors, because the CIO's office is 'not an operational organization,' Brubaker said.

The question of how to handle OSD's systems operations arose last July, Brubaker said. It was precipitated by deputy Defense secretary John Hamre's decision to give Arthur L. Money, CIO and assistant secretary of Defense for C3I, control over OSD's systems.

'We're in the policy business. We'd like to turn it over to a vendor,' he said.

The outsourcing contract will cover 7,000 nodes on the Non-Classified IP Router Network.

Rather than hold a full-and-open competition, OSD will use either a General Services Administration schedule contract or a governmentwide acquisition contract to purchase the services, Brubaker said.

Carrots and sticks

The single outsourcing contract will be performance-based, with incentives for good performance and penalties for poor performance.

'Either they're going to be meeting the goals or they're not,' Brubaker said.

Meanwhile, the Network Infrastructure Services Agency-Pentagon (NISA-P), a fee-for-service organization that manages many Pentagon offices' systems, plans to outsource the building's backbone network services. The OSD subnetwork would be covered by this procurement. NISA-P officials plan to use an existing governmentwide acquisition contract for the outsourcing project, he said.

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