GSA official says contested BearingPoint contract still on target

The General Services Administration is still on target to help agencies meet next month's deadline to begin issuing Personal Identity Verification cards even though its contract to provide these services is under investigation, a top GSA official said.

David Temoshok, director of GSA's ID Management Division, said Wednesday morning that the agency still expects to begin issuing PIV cards before Oct. 27, the date by which, under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12, all agencies must start producing the cards for new employees and contractors.

This despite the fact that GSA missed more than a week of work earlier this month because three companies'Lockheed Martin Corp., EDS Corp. and Xtec Inc. of Miami'protested the agency's contract for turnkey HSPD-12 solutions with BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va. Xtec and EDS filed their protests with the Government Accountability Office, while Lockheed filed its protest with GSA.

The protest forced GSA to stop working on the agreement, although it restarted the contract late last week after determining that it is a matter of national security.

'We're keeping the target dates we established' when the contract was awarded, Temoshok said after speaking at an HSPD-12 conference in Washington. 'These have always been very aggressive dates, and we're keeping to them.'

Temoshok would not comment specifically on the protests or why the stay was lifted, but he did say the agency is always aware that its contracts can be challenged.

Meanwhile, Temoshok confirmed that 13 agencies have signed up with GSA under the BearingPoint deal. Besides GSA, other agencies are: the Commerce, Energy, Agriculture, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development departments, the Federal Communications Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

He estimated that, at this point, GSA will be placing orders for between 250,000 and 500,000 PIV cards, although the agency is hoping for more. Under the BearingPoint deal, the more agencies that sign up, the lower the prices become for services.

Also, Temoshok said talks have continued between GSA and the Interior Department's National Business Center, which is looking to set up its own shared-services provider shop for HSPD-12 services as well.

Jim Williams, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, met with NBC officials Monday, Temoshok said, although no formal agreement has been reached to combine offerings.

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