Air Force Turns to GSA For $5.5 Billion Next-Gen IT Contract

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The 2GIT contract will replace the Air Force’s NETCENTS-2 vehicle and will be open to all government buyers.

The Air Force wants fuller technology solutions, better data and stronger supply chain management for its IT buys and is turning to the General Services Administration for help. The two departments announced Wednesday a $5.5 billion replacement to the Air Force’s Network-Centric Solutions 2, or NETCENTS-2, contract.

GSA released a draft request for quotations Wednesday for the Second Generation Information Technology, or 2GIT, contract for hardware, software and services. The blanket purchase agreement will offer IT products across five broad areas from a set of pre-vetted vendors that already hold contracts for specific special item number categories on GSA’s IT Schedule 70.

The BPA will have a one-year base period, with four one-year add-on options. If all options are exercised, officials expect some $5.5 billion to flow through the BPA over five years. Officials expect the Air Force, other military branches and civilian agencies will spend between $850 million and $1.1 billion per year on 2GIT products, according to the draft RFQ.

Air Force and GSA officials said they have learned much through the two generations of NETCENTS and plan to take a different tack this time around.

“The first generation BPAs were based on industry market research which suggested a segmented model with multiple sets of BPAs serving individual commodity groups. This approach was only moderately successful,” according to the draft RFQ. “Experience has indicated that customers are looking for a single source for all of their commodity needs to provide a total solution.”

The RFQ says there will be three to five vendors awarded spots on the blanket purchase agreements for each of the five areas, for a total of 15 to 25 awards, though officials at the industry day said this is an area they are particularly interested in getting feedback on.

The five BPAs include:

  • Data centers, including both computing and storage.
  • End user devices, including ruggedized tablets, desktop computers and thin clients.
  • Network gear like routers and switches, as well as video teleconferencing and Everything over IP.
  • Radio equipment, including handhelds and vehicle units.
  • Plus a fifth line encompassing all four areas.

“We’re looking to provide a total solution in each area,” Pierre Williams, a senior contracting officer with GSA, said during the industry day.

Along with a broader set of offerings under each BPA area, the Air Force also hopes to get more granular purchasing data and better supply chain assurance, according to Maj. William Griffin, NETCENTS-2 program manager. By establishing the BPA through GSA, the Air Force will be able to leverage the agency’s data reporting tools to better understand exactly what is being purchased and where, he said.

During the question and answer period, officials said they are also considering adding the special item number for the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program cybersecurity tools, which was initially deemed out of scope.

Responses to the draft RFQ are due to GSA by 4 p.m. Nov. 7. The final RFQ is expected to be released in January or February. If everything continues on schedule, officials hope to make awards by April or May.

The Air Force will continue using the NETCENTS-2 contract through the end of fiscal 2019.

NETCENTS-2 isn’t the only Air Force contract being revamped by GSA. The two departments signed a memorandum of understanding in August detailing several joint procurement initiatives. In fiscal 2020, GSA will be managing recompetes for the Applications Services contract, set to expire in March 2022, and the Network Operations and Infrastructure Solutions contract, which expires in May 2022.