Browsing: Procurement

NASA sets due date for $20B IT contract


NASA has extended the deadline for bids on its $20 billion Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V contract, following last month’s government shutdown. The agency has extended the due date to Nov. 15, according to an online notice. Originally, companies had until Oct. 14 to bid. NASA said the 16-day shutdown delayed its response to industry’s questions as well as changes to the solicitation. The contract will provide agencies with desktops, laptops, servers and other information technology equipment.

U.S. military's Afghan HQ opens just in time for possible demolition


By one estimate, it’s one of the best constructed facilities in Afghanistan, but soon the $34 million military center in Hemland province could be torn down because, well, it turns out troops are leaving and the U.S. government might not have really needed the building in the first place. Special Office of Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko outlined the scope and history of the expensive problem in a letter this week to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, which you can read about here. But for a virtual tour of the building’s clean, spacious and barren offices and meeting…

A background checker's checkered past


Ramon Davila is one name in a growing list. He’s among the nearly two dozen federal background check investigators to face criminal charges in recent years for falsifying his work on investigations performed on contractors and employees seeking government clearances. But more than year after charging Davila, the Justice Department only just learned that he had a troubling past that went unnoticed during his own background investigation. It turns out, officials at another federal law enforcement agency decided nearly a decade ago to keep out of his personnel folder serious misconduct findings against Davila stemming from his years as a…

GSA IG uncovers Craigslist computer scheme


An undercover investigation by the General Services Administration’s watchdog office has  traced second-hand computer equipment originally costing the U.S. government about $25 million to more than a dozen sham educational organizations and, ultimately, back to one man: Steven Alexander Bolden. Federal prosecutors in Tacoma, Wash., earlier this month filed fraud charges against Bolden, saying he tricked the government into believing he represented schools and thus was eligible for access to GSA’s Computers for Learning program. Under the program, agencies, as permitted by law, can transfer surplus computers and technology equipment to schools and nonprofit educational groups. The investigation, which was…

Snowden the whistleblower? Not exactly


Dubbed a traitor by House Speaker John Boehner and yet hailed as a brave whistleblower by Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden’s leaks about National Security Agency data collection techniques have ignited public debate about privacy, security and the scope of U.S. government surveillance activities. But legally speaking, the 29-year old, self described high school dropout isn’t really a whistleblower: “Whistleblowers are individuals who have engaged in lawful disclosure,” said R. Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group, a DC-based law firm that represents whistleblowers, including some in the intelligence community. Snowden, however, leaked classified information subject to a court…

When contract talks get heated, who's in charge?


Time and time again, big contractors went over the heads of General Service Administration contracting officers who were trying to negotiate good prices for the government. But when it came time to choose, GSA supervisors sided with the contractors. That’s the conclusion of recent GSA Office of Inspector report that raises troubling questions about the enormous pressure contracting officers can come under from contractors with close ties to managers and even members of Congress. While GSA says it’s got new management and won’t tolerate such interference nowadays, the bigger questions are whether this sort of thing happens elsewhere, not just…

GSA to launch cloud broker pilot


The General Services Administration is moving forward with plans to stand up a cloud broker contract for acquiring and managing the performance of federal cloud services. The Department of Homeland Security is one of two agencies that has committed to testing GSA’s cloud broker model in a pilot program expected to launch this fall, said GSA’s Mark Day. Speaking Monday at the annual Management of Change conference in Maryland, Day said GSA will award one contract to test the concept of a broker model and reevaluate the pilot by year’s end to determine how it could be expanded. GSA has not yet defined…

Contract flaws found in GSA Disney trip


More than half of the attendees at a big training meeting in 2011 for the General Services Administration’s acquisition arm hailed from the Washington area, but when it came time to figure out a location, officials headed to sunny Orlando instead. As outlined in a memo released by the GSA’s Inspector General this week, a review found that Federal Acquisition Service officials settled on a contract proposal for conference planning and training that came to nearly a quarter million dollars, while the next highest vendor proposed just $79,784. Despite the price, the IG found that officials essentially steered the conference…

When late isn't really late


On Nov. 27, 2012, at 3:38 p.m., an employee at Insight Systems Corp., which was bidding on a health services contract, submitted a revised quote to two employees inside the U.S. Agency for International Development. The deadline for doing so was 5 p.m. The message reached the first of three agency-controlled servers at 3:41 p.m., but then it got stuck. And it wasn’t until 5:18 p.m. that the email reached the first USAID employee, while the second employee didn’t receive the message until 5:57 p.m. Around the same time, an employee at another company, CenterScope, which was submitting its own…

Interior awards $10 billion cloud contract


The Interior Department has awarded 10 vendors a spot on its potential $10 billion cloud services contract. Under the 10-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, vendors will provide a variety of services, including cloud storage, secure file transfer, database hosting, Web hosting, development and testing, and virtual machine services. The latter will allow agencies to create virtual, rather than physical, versions of their servers and virtual desktop capabilities that allow employees to access work documents and applications from any device. The Foundation Cloud Hosting Services contract was awarded May 1 and will be available to other agencies. The procurement could be worth…

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