The contract is essential to the Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment.
The Pentagon is accepting bids on its $17.5 billion Encore III contract, which will provide global IT services to military branches and defense agencies over at least the next five years.
The Defense Information Systems Agency – the Pentagon’s IT arm – released the final request for proposals late Wednesday after a lengthy pre-solicitation process and slips in the release date, as officials made final determinations about the services it should provide.
The contract has a 5-year base period with five 1-year options and is of the multiple-award indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity variety, meaning vendors who win will have to compete against each other to deliver on individual task orders issued by DOD.
Encore III is essential to the Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment, which the RFP describes as a “globally-interconnected, end-to-end set of information capabilities, associated processes, and personnel to manage and provide information on demand to warfighters, policy makers, and supporting personnel.”
In other words, DOD is forgoing its stove-piped systems in favor of the “integrated and interoperable” DOD Information Network that services from Encore III will provide and enhance.
The tech modernization effort is hugely important to the Pentagon as it looks to maintain a technological edge on land, at sea and now – as evidenced by the contract’s language – in cyberspace as well, with “information superiority.”
“It will enhance combat effectiveness through greatly increased battle-space awareness, improved ability to employ weapons beyond line-of-sight, employment of massed effects instead of massed forces, and reduced decision cycles,” the RFP states.
Because of its size and scope, Encore III will have an enormous amount of potential industry suitors, but its name doesn’t hurt, either.
Encore III is the follow-on to Encore II, which was awarded in 2008 to 14 large business and 12 small businesses. According to Deltek, the government has spent about $6.7 billion to date through Encore II, or 54 percent of its original $12.2 billion ceiling.
Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, HP, Raytheon, Computer Sciences Corporation, Leidos and Data Systems Analysts were the leading contractors on Encore II, and all are likely candidates to bid on Encore III.