Pentagon seeks input on net-centric strategy

The Office of the Secretary of Defense's CIO has issued a draft statement of objectives seeking industry input on its network-centric strategy as a preparatory step in DOD's plan to procure a unified enterprise architecture from two vendors by July.

The contracts will be worth a total of $500 million and cover the two-year period from July 2008 to July 2010, with options for three one-year extensions. One contract, worth $450 million, will be subject to full and open competition; the other, worth $50 million, will be a small-business set-aside, according to the draft statement of objectives.

The procurement will replace earlier systems and services acquired piecemeal by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and is pursuant to the OSD chief information officer's strategy for establishing a unified enterprise architecture built to achieve network-centricity with service-oriented architecture technologies as its foundation.

As it consolidates its infrastructure from as many as 14 separate systems (one for each component in OSD), the CIO plans to build a single, unified information technology network incorporating a common architecture and common standards. The Defense CIO's office also is evaluating how it can best consolidate multiple contract packages, unify the previously separate OSD IT networks and most efficiently structure the IT organizational responsibilities and assets of its director of administration and management group and its Washington Headquarters Services.

The primary objectives of the projects are to achieve net-centricity, promote the goals of the Washington Headquarters Services/Director of Administration and Management's strategic plan, facilitate transformation of the OSD enterprise, meet the needs of the OSD CIO's customers for secure long-term IT solutions, capitalize on industry best practices and minimize the use of government-provided facilities, resources and workspace, according to the draft statement of objectives.

The schedule for awarding the contracts calls for industry comments by March 10, the issuance of a request for proposals by March 26 at the latest with responses due by April 28, and the completion of initial evaluations by May 19. A review of final proposal revisions would be finished by June 30, with award of the contracts taking place by July 10, the draft statement of objectives said.

Both contracts will include IT hardware, software, licenses, maintenance, ancillary support products and related material. The open-competition contract's scope specifically will include customer support; administration, maintenance and support of IT systems; engineering services; development, maintenance and support of applications; and business continuity. The small-business set-aside contract's scope will specifically include information assurance and mission support for the CIO.

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