NARA begins search for archives system vendor

NARA begins search for archives system vendor

The National Archives and Records Administration has released the final solicitation for its Electronic Records Archive project.

The eight-year performance-based ERA contract could be worth about $175 million.

NARA is asking vendors to submit bids by Jan. 28 outlining how they would develop and implement a system to 'authentically preserve and provide access to any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software.' The system also must manage the lifecycle of all records.

'ERA's evolvability will be achieved by accommodating technology insertion seamlessly over time using standard application program interfaces and industry accepted interfaces,' NARA noted in the request for proposals.

The contract's one-year base period will be firm fixed price and the option years will be cost plus award fees, said Dan Jansen, one of the ERA project managers.

NARA will select two vendors to perform a system analysis and develop a prototype application during the first year of the contract, which according to industry sources is worth about $22 million. The agency then will select the system it thinks is best for the remaining seven years of the contract, Jansen said.

The agency released a draft RFP in August. Madan Kar, the contracting officer for the project, said most of the changes were in the performance metrics and the statement of objectives.

All three branches of government will start to send data to the system starting in fiscal 2006. By 2012, 95 percent of all data will be sent to the system, NARA said in the RFP.

There are 11 companies that have signed up on the bidder's list, including Accenture LLP, IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumann Corp. and Science Applications International Co. of San Diego. All bidders must have developers who are certified at Level 3 of the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model and the CMM-Integration, Jansen said.

'This is not just about systems integration but true business transformation,' said an industry official. 'This will impact the way everyone works in the future.'

To view the solicitation, click on ERA RFP.

(Posted Dec. 8; corrected Dec. 22, 2003)

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