VA Makes Vet Employment a Factor in Awarding $22.3 Billion Tech Deal

Job seekers check out the job opportunities at a Hiring Fair For Veterans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Job seekers check out the job opportunities at a Hiring Fair For Veterans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alan Diaz/AP

VA intends to reserves four awards for vet-owned businesses.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is highlighting the importance of veteran employment by vendors on its upcoming $22.3 billion IT modernization contracting vehicle.

Matt Ginty, contracting officer with the VA Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, New Jersey, said award of the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation contract – known as T4NG – will be made on a best-value basis.

Veterans employment, however, was also singled out in the presentation made to bidders today.

According the presentation:

“Evaluation Factors will include: Technical, Past Performance, Veterans Involvement, Veterans Employment, Small Business Participation Commitment, and Price.”

Gint’s presentation added, “The proposal will be evaluated to determine the extent to which veterans are employed by the prime offeror.”

VA plans to award up to 20 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts under T4NG, which will run for an initial five years with an option for another five years. Twelve spots are reserved for small business bidders.

VA has reserved eight awards for companies owned by veterans: four for veteran-owned small business and four for service-disabled, veteran-owned small business. Another four awards are reserved for other small business firms, including woman-owned companies.

The T4NG contract is designed to provide a total information technology overhaul for VA organizations, including planning and management, software, computer hardware, and support for the department’s global network.

The T4NG contract will replace the original $12 billion Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology – or T4 deal -- awarded in July 2011 and held by 21 companies.

Research firm Deltek said in a September report the current T4 contract is the second-most used contracting vehicle by VA, with more than 400 task order to date worth a total of $2.4 billion.

While only 20 percent of the ceiling value of T4 has been spent, “billions of dollars have been obligated,” the report stated. “It is anticipated that T4 Next Generation will have similar or higher levels of spending,”

VA plans to release the T4NG draft request for proposals sometime next month with proposals due this December and contract award slated for in December 2015.