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Details of Recovery.gov redesign contract revealed

After a public outpouring of questions and concerns about the potential $18 million price tag of a contract to redesign Recovery.gov, the board overseeing the official stimulus-tracking site's overhaul late Friday revealed some details on the agreement.

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which maintains Recovery.gov, posted for the first time a June 15 request for proposals and an update stating that Hollywood, Md.-based Web services company Smartronix "won the contract over two other bidders, according to the General Services Administration, which made the award."

The notice on Recovery.gov adds that Smartronix is teaming with three subcontractors: Washington-based Synteractive Corp.; TMP Government of McLean, Va., and New York-based KPMG.

Transparency activists and project management specialists criticized GSA for announcing on Wednesday it had awarded Smartronix a contract to redesign the site, without providing more information about the deal. The announcement stated the project would cost $9.5 million through January 2010 and up to $18 million if all options were exercised until January 2014. It did not describe what the money would cover, or how many other vendors competed for the award.

Board spokesman Ed Pound last week had said it was not the board's job to publish the contract and the number of bids; it is GSA's responsibility to deal with the disclosure of contract information, he added. GSA spokesman Robert Lesino on Friday afternoon said, "procurement sensitivity and acquisition regulation" restrict the agency from divulging details, including the names of bidders and copies of proposals.

Now, some details of the contract requirements are listed on Recovery.gov. According to this new information, Smartronix and its subcontractors must:

-- Develop the next generation of Recovery.gov, which will be visually pleasing, user friendly and highly interactive.

-- Create a mapping capacity that will allow users to search for spending down to the neighborhood level.

-- Provide the capacity to store and easily download massive amounts of data.

-- Build a state-of-the-art security platform that will protect the integrity and availability of the data and a back-up system in the event of a major catastrophe such as a terrorist attack or large-scale power outage.

-- Provide contract support to perform an array of hosting, maintenance and operational services.

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