The Story Behind the Army’s $494M Network Hardware Contract Extension

New procurement rules and bureaucracy caused delays.

I reported Monday that the Army had extended its Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2H network hardware contract for 11 months, from Aug. 22, 2013, through July 18, 2014. Tuesday, the service disclosed the extension resulted from new procurement rules and a bureaucratic shuffle.

The Army plans a $5 billion follow-on to this umbrella contract held by six vendors, but that follow-on -- ITES-3H -- was delayed due to a requirement that pushed the planned award date from 2013 to sometime in 2014, the service disclosed in a Justification and Approval notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website Monday.

The Army said it had to conduct a Business Case Analysis for ITES-3H, a new contracting requirement. This pushed the release of the ITES-3H request for proposals from March to September 2012, which meant a delay in the award date. Alas, that date was blacked out in the J&A.

Another delay resulted from a shift in the management of the procurement to the Army Contracting Command in Rock Island, Ill., due to the closure of the Washington contracting office.

I read a lot of these J&A things and they all sound the same -- an extension, rather than a new competitive procurement is needed. To do otherwise would threaten national security (really) and the existing contract provides a better deal and discounts, facts hard to discern with the ITES-2H extension as they were blacked out.

If the Army would like to fill in the redacted portions, I would be delighted to report on it.

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