Defense Intelligence Agency launches mega IT contract

Multiple award pact will provide technology equipment and services worldwide.

The Defense Intelligence Agency kicked off a billion-dollar-plus procurement on Aug. 4 for information technology and services for the Defense Department intelligence community, all four services and non-Defense agencies with intelligence missions.

Comment on this article in The Forum.In its draft request for proposals for the $1.2 billion, five-year Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise, DIA officials said they intend to award four indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to major vendors and another four IDIQ contracts to small businesses.

The awards mark a change in contracting approach to the previous large-scale Defense intelligence contract, the $2 billion Intelligence Information, Command and Control Equipment and Enhancement (ICE2) contract. The Air Force awarded that pact in 2003 to one prime bidder, General Dynamics. The Air Force decided in May to drop development of a follow on to ICE2 in favor of the SITE contract.

SITE also will include engineering services currently provided through the Defense Intelligence Information System Integration and Engineering Support broad purchase agreement contracts, which were awarded in 2003, DIA noted in its draft request.

BAE Systems Plc, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Computer Sciences Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., SRA International Inc. and Titan Corp, now part of L-3 Communications, all won broad purchase agreements under the contract, which is valued at $300 million.

Multiple awards for SITE will provide DIA with more flexibility and also help avoid protests if it made only one award, said John Slye, manager of federal industry analysis at INPUT, a research firm that covers the federal IT market.

Slye said he expected most major systems integrators that serve the federal market, including the incumbent contractors, to bid on SITE. Firms want to expand their business in the intelligence community and will view the contract as a way "to establish a beachhead," he added.

DIA plans to use the contract to provide worldwide IT support for Defense intelligence systems, including hardware, software, and engineering and support services. The agency plans to divide the contract into two service areas, one for engineering and support services and another analogous to ICE2, which will include hardware, installation and fielding of systems and equipment.

The Air Force, when it was planning the ICE2 follow-on, detailed an expansive scope for the contract and said it would serve 40,000 intelligence customers at numerous agencies, including the Office of Director of National Intelligence, DIA, National Ground Intelligence Center, Office of Naval Intelligence, Counterintelligence Field Activity, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and all combatant commands. The contract also will support intelligence activities at the Energy, State and Treasury departments, and the Coast Guard and FBI.

DIA has put the SITE procurement on a fast-track, with the final RFP due out in September, source-selection evaluation due to be completed by the end of February 2009 and award in March 2009.