After a public outpouring of questions, concerns and bewilderment about the $18 million pricetag of a contract for a Recovery.gov Web site, the board overseeing the site's overhaul late Friday revealed some details.
The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which maintains the official stimulus-monitoring site, 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, Synteractive Corp. in Washington; TMP Government, based in McLean, Va.; and New York-based KPMG.
Transparency activists and project management specialists had 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 are 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 said that releasing the contract and the number of bids submitted for the award is not the job of the board. GSA deals with the disclosure of contract information, he added. GSA spokesman Robert Lesino on Friday afternoon said "procurement sensitivity and acquisition regulation" restrict GSA from divulging details, including the names of the other bidders and copies of proposals.
Now, some details of the contract are listed on Recovery.gov:
* Develop the next generation of Recovery.gov, which will be visually pleasing, user friendly and highly interactive.
* A mapping capacity that will allow users to search for spending all the way down to their own neighborhoods.
* The capacity to store and easily download massive amounts of data.
* 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 9/11 or a large-scale power outage.
* Contract support to perform a wide array of hosting, maintenance and operational services.