TSA taps Unisys for bridge outsourcing pact

The Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration today unveiled a three-year bridge contract with Unisys Corp. for outsourced IT services that could amount to $750 million over three years.

DHS has been quietly negotiating a renewal of the controversial pact since August, when the original contract expired. TSA had been working under the terms of the old contract.

TSA said the new agreement comprises one base year with two one-year options. TSA will provide $265 million in the first year while DHS provides $43 million, for a total of $308 million.

'With the award of this contract, TSA has begun the process of migrating as quickly as possible to a departmentwide approach for IT solutions,' according to a statement by Rick Gunderson, the agency's acting assistant administrator for acquisition.

TSA said it plans to shift its enterprise IT contracts to DHS' Eagle and FirstSource vehicles now being processed by the department's headquarters IT procurement office.

The bridge contract, and the Eagle and FirstSource pacts to follow, will replace Unisys' Information Technology Managed Services contract that has provided outsourced IT services to TSA and other parts of the department and is set to expire on January 10. TSA awarded the $1 billion ITMS contract in late 2002.

The new Unisys contract calls for DHS to acquire the equipment it has leased under the ITMS contract and to provide for the transition of continuing projects, TSA said.

'The contract also provides a more favorable and disciplined cost structure, minimizes the agency's current leasing liability costs and eliminates costs associated with transitioning to an intermediate contractor,' TSA said.

TSA's contracting methods used to create the agency from scratch attracted critical scrutiny from the inspector general's office and Congress, who charged that the original ITMS contract led to overbilling.

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