NIH IT help desk in A-76 competition

The Health and Human Services Department said it is starting a competition for IT help desk services at the department's National Institutes of Health under the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-76 to reduce government costs.

NIH will conduct the competition through Sept. 1 and announce the results on or about Sept. 3, the notice in FedBizOpps said yesterday.

The IT help desk services include tier 1 and tier 2 problem resolution, help desk systems, and other support services. Currently, 20 federal employees and SAIC provide the services.

A competition reviews how efficiently two teams conduct specific work, said Tim Wheeles, NIH competitive-sourcing program manager. In this case, the NIH employees and contractors team, who assemble the requirements for the IT help desk work, vies with a market research team, which examines comparable contracts in the private sector to determine what vendors do and what they charge.

'A contract officer looks at the costs and determines who would do the job for less,' Wheeles said. The job could remain with the current in-house team at the same or a more efficient cost and staffing if the team proposed it. If the market research team is chosen, the department will put out a solicitation, he said..

Another competition announced in March for the NIH data center will be completed in July, Wheeles said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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