After Two Years In Limbo, FEMA Cancels $250M IT Support Contract

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The single-award contract was created to help the emergency management agency manage its IT. Now, that work will be spread across existing staff and contracts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is opting to cancel a $250 million IT support services contract that has been sitting in acquisition limbo for more than two years.

The agency posted a notice Monday to the Contracting Opportunities website announcing the cancelation of the Information Technology Management Support Services Pillar contract. The single-award contract would have had a ceiling of $249 million, with a one-year base period and three one-year options.

FEMA initially released the request for proposals in July 2017, with bids due in late August of the same year. However, several leadership changes within the Office of the Chief Information Officer continually delayed award of the contract. Now, more than two years later, a reassessment of the agency’s needs has prompted FEMA OCIO to pull back the solicitation and opt instead to use existing DHS staff and contracts to meet those mission needs.

“Since OCPO issued the solicitation in early 2017, OCIO retained a new chief information officer and two new deputy chief information officers. In addition, the OCIO budget was significantly reduced,” according to the cancelation notice sent to the chief procurement officer by Lorenzo Moore, director of the program management office within FEMA OCIO. “OCIO examined its organizational structure, staffing and the services it provides to the agency, which yielded a realignment of all the agency’s IT divisions.”

Under the reorganization, the IT shop will merge its current project managers and customer success managers under a new program management office, which will include project managers, scrum masters and customer success managers, according to the notice. With OCIO employees taking on these duties directly, the office no longer needs contractor support, Moore wrote, prompting them to cancel the solicitation.

The contract included 18 task areas, all of which are still priorities for the agency.

In order to meet those mission needs, FEMA plans to outsource procurements for 13 of those areas to contracts managed by offices within OCIO, such as the IT Core Services Division and the Office of Planning, Architecture and Governance. FEMA offered a full list of alternative contracts in a PDF attached to the cancelation notice.

Five of the task areas will be taken in-house, to be performed by current OCIO staff. These include areas like program management support and customer relations.

One task area—No. 10, Transition and Technical Management Support—will be split between OCIO employees and a contract managed by the Systems Development Engineering & Integration Division.

The 18th task area was focused on transitioning between vendors from old contracts to the new one. Without a new contract, this last task area is moot.