DHS sets IT course

Agency awards $1.2 billion in new contracts

Originally posted Sept. 18 at 5:02 p.m. and updated Sept. 19 at 12:52 p.m.

UPDATED' The Homeland Security Department has loaded its shopping cart with information technology this back-to-school season, awarding an $800 million contract to EDS for a new data center and another contract for $400 million to $500 million for systems development to a team led by IBM, according to DHS and sources in the vendor community.

EDS bested Computer Sciences to snare the data center contract. EDS appeared to have chosen Clarksville, Va., as the site for the new data center, according to online evidence of its initial plans to recruit staff for the new center.

The Transportation Security Administration is calling its new systems development deal the Organizational Application Support and Information Services (OASIS) contract. The agency awarded it under DHS' Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions (EAGLE) procurement vehicle.

The OASIS contract will kick off with an initial award of $98.5 million in its first year and run for a total of five years if all options are exercised, TSA said. Vendor sources said the OASIS pact likely would amount to $400 million to $500 million.

As for the data center pact, EDS spokesman Brad Bass only said, 'It's a very important contract to us.'

'We would like to talk about it, but we are restricted in what we can say,' Bass said. 'There are national-security considerations here.'

'We are going to march to what they [DHS] say [regarding the data center],' Bass said. 'We are looking at a total of eight years.'

DHS already has activated its first major data center at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The second data center is planned to act as a mirrored backup to the first center.

In framing the proposal request for the second data center, DHS emphasized that it wanted to ensure an extremely high level of physical security for the facility. The department also emphasized that it wanted to ensure continuity of operations of the center in the event of the failure of its outside electricity supply or any other disaster, natural or man-made.

IBM is the prime contractor on OASIS, and has assembled a team of business partners to complete the project including Deloitte Consulting and Lockheed Martin, as well as Akamai, Arc Aspicio, Blackstone Consulting Group, Enterprise Solutions Realized, Infoglide, Intellgent Decisions, Knightfork, Microlink, Optimal Solutions and Technologies, Oracle, Pragmatics, Procentrix, RCM Solutions and VIP.

'The agreement brings all of TSA's software application development under IBM's management. In the past, services were provided by several different contractors divided between several companies. The use of one contractor will foster a closer working relationship, improve communications and provide the greatest value to TSA both in technical capabilities and price.'

The agency added that its OASIS project 'is intended to aggregate software applications development that may have been provided by several different pre-existing contracts. This is a natural progression as the agency matures.'

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