GSA preparing satellite contract follow-on RFP

The General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service is gearing up for a busy winter.

In addition to reviewing the hundreds of proposals for the two parts of the Networx telecommunications governmentwide acquisition contract, John Johnson, assistant commissioner, in the FAS' Integrated Technology Service's Office of Service Development and Delivery, said his office will release the request for proposals for Satellite Services Program II (SATCOM II) before Dec. 31.

Johnson's office also will release the plan for Alliant, the multibillion-dollar, two-part IT services GWAC, by Nov. 11.

The SATCOM II RFP replaces the SATCOM I contract that expires in January 2006. Johnson said GSA will award SATCOM II in the spring. GSA has yet to determine a ceiling for the contract, which will be for three years with three one-year options. Market research firm Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va., estimates the award to be worth $100 million.

Johnson spoke at a luncheon in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Washington chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

According to GSA's Web site for SATCOM II, the agency planned to release the RFP last summer and make the award by Dec. 31. The new schedule puts the contract four months further behind.

Johnson said that even though SATCOM will expire in January, agencies still will be able to issue task orders through the end of December and buy satellite services from other contracts, including FTS 2001.

SATCOM II will be a multiple award contract, but Johnson said he was unsure how many awards GSA would make. GSA released two sources-sought notices in May'one for all businesses, and another for small/disadvantaged businesses.

The contract will cover four types of services:
  • Mobile and fixed for full-duplex, half-duplex and simplex transmissions using C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band satellites. This also includes handheld equipment and services such as Iridium, Globalstar, Inmarsat and Thuraya. Mobile Satellite Service provides satellite-based full-duplex circuit-switched voice, data and facsimile communications capable of supporting land, maritime and aeronautical mobile communications for people on the move.

  • Applications including voice, data, video and multimedia, and may include government end-to-end encrypted communications.

  • Design, engineering and maintenance to manage the support of large satellite networks. The contractor shall provide help desk support 24 hours a day, seven days a week and

  • Professional support.

Johnson also said his office will be developing initiatives looking at customer supply channels'multiple award contracts, GWACs and telecommunications'and an agency working group to look at areas for improvements within the Integrated Technology Service.

'We have various supply channels and we want to minimize conflict,' Johnson said. 'We want to build efficient processes to support all three supply channels, and help agencies understand what they are buying and from where.'

The first phase of this work will be through the performance metrics of the Networx contract, Johnson added. The stakeholder groups will look to improve areas such as IT security and knowledge sharing among agencies.

'We want to make sure our supply channels remain relevant,' he said. 'We will pursue a task order with a company to conduct interviews with agencies on their views on how to keep the supply channels relevant.'

Roseanne Gerin, a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology, contributed to this report.

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