NOAA Delays Draft RFP for $550M High-Performance Computing Contract

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The agency is looking for a systems integrator for its high-performance computing centers around the country.

A highly anticipated computing contract draft solicitation worth up to $550 million over 10 years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been delayed.

Officials at NOAA—responsible for environmental modeling and predicting climate and weather events—had expected to release a draft request for proposals this week for its Research and Development High Performance Computing and Communications infrastructure.

Instead, NOAA released a special notice declaring “there is no draft or final solicitation available at this time.”

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However, NOAA released dates and times for site visits to several NOAA computing facilities that will get the lion’s share of computing and integration services under the contract. Under the acquisition’s previous schedule, site visits were to be scheduled 10 days after the draft RFP was released.

NOAA’s change in schedule may help the agency elicit better feedback from industry.

“At this time, the government is still developing the draft RFP,” the notice states. “Thus, this special notice will be issued first to facilitate a productive set of site visits.”

NOAA officials now expect to release the draft RFP around mid-July. It not yet clear yet whether this slippage will affect NOAA’s target of May 2018 for a final contract award.