State Department Floats $4B Vehicle to Consolidate Its IT Contracts

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The new contract vehicle will also shift the agency’s strategy to focus on fixing problems instead of buying tech.

The State Department IT shop’s main collection of contract vehicles are nearing end-of-life and no longer reflect the way the agency wants to manage and buy IT services. The office is looking to build a new $4 billion contract focused more on solving problems than buying specific tech.

The Information Resources Management, or IRM, office—run by the State Department chief information officer—purchases IT services through a host of contracts, referred to collectively as Vanguard, currently in version 2.2.1. While grouped together, those contracts are diverse and independent, and are generally organized around specific technologies instead of program or problem areas.

“IRM is currently undergoing a reorganization and is pivoting to a project-based mentality instead of a technology-based one,” according to a request for information posted to beta.SAM.gov. The office intends to use the new contract vehicle as the fulcrum on which to make this pivot.

Not only that, but the current contracts are aging out.

“The option years authorized under the task orders are being quickly exhausted and a new acquisition strategy is being developed for follow-on acquisition(s),” the RFI states. “The government intends to award a multiple award [indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity] to support the needs currently met under Vanguard 2.2.1 and the scope will also encompass IRM’s future IT-Service needs not currently under Vanguard 2.2.1.”

IRM officials propose organizing the new contract around 11 functional areas: data center services; compute services; services for storage; services for networks; services for platforms; services for output; services for end-user solutions; application; delivery; security and compliance; and IT management.

The RFI includes detailed definitions and scope for each functional area.

The office is already planning several task orders against this contract, with extensive preliminary details included in the RFI.

The presolicitation document notes that, “While the focus of this IDIQ is IRM heavy any office in DOS can utilize this vehicle.”

The RFI is asking industry for feedback on the total strategy, including potential “contract ceiling, contract vehicles, composition, proposed number of awards and existing contract vehicles,” the document states.

Contracting officers are currently considering a $4 billion ceiling over a 10-year period of performance, spread across six to 10 awardees.

“The government does not expect every awardee to have expertise in all the functional areas but will award enough contracts so that there is adequate competition for each functional area,” the RFI states.

The response template includes eight questions for industry, each limited to no more than 200 words.

Responses to the RFI are due by 5 p.m. April 7.

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