FEMA issues $135m systems support pact

In a bid to prepare its systems support procurement for future disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has tapped Applied Computing Technologies Inc. of Falls Church, Va., for a $135 million pact that is an expanded and recompeted version of the company's existing work, the company said.

FEMA bundled several types of support in the contract, which runs for four years with one option year, ACT executives said. The contract has a cap of $135 million over its five-year duration, but there is no cap for any given year within that period.

FEMA changed the procurement rules for this recompetition from a small-business set-aside to full and open competition. ACT officials noted that the contract's expanded scale attracted interest and bids from large systems integrators.

ACT officials described the details of the contract, which FEMA awarded on Aug. 9 and which becomes effective today. The company has provided systems support to the disaster management agency since 1993, in prime contractor and subcontractor roles.

ACT will provide systems support to FEMA employees using the agency's Microsoft productivity apps, and various types of government-owned systems for time, attendance and other human resources functions, as well as systems that implement specific FEMA disaster management activities.

The contract covers support delivered to four areas of FEMA operations:
  • Headquarters help desk support, in which ACT will provide tier one and tier two assistance to FEMA computer users including users in the National Response Coordination Center
  • The National Disaster Medical System, portable hospitals for use in disaster zones, which ACT will furnish with LANs and related support
  • Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers, the agency's fleet of some five dozens modified, technology-laced recreational vehicles that allow disaster victims to register for benefits
  • Joint Field Offices, the fixed facilities that FEMA sets up in disaster areas to manage recovery operations.

ACT said the steady state level of effort under the contract covers about thirty employees. Much of the work defined in the contract consists of services delivered under a 'surge' basis in response to specific disasters.

The company formed a team with Lockheed Martin Corp., and SRA International Inc. of Fairfax, Va. as subcontractors.

'FEMA used the headquarters systems support contract last year to provide disaster specific support in a way they had rarely done before. They had seldom used a headquarters contract for this type of work. They had used local contractors,' said ACT chief executive officer Robert Hansen

'Last year's disasters forced FEMA to increase contract ceilings. I believe they don't want to be in a situation of having to increase ceilings on existing contracts to handle future disasters.' Hansen continued. 'Now they have an IT contract vehicle that they can rapidly ramp in response to disasters. They can use it to issue task orders quickly and efficiently.'

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