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Sandia awards information technology contracts to three firms

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 2:14pm

Sandia National Laboratories has issued three information technology (IT) contracts totaling $353 million over a potential term of seven years. The awards streamline IT contracting at the laboratories.

“These contracts replace current IT contracts that are expiring,” says Chris Slater of the Sandia Procurement group. “We are integrating multiple service contracts to create efficiencies and long-term cost savings across our IT work.”

Sandia has about 450 contract IT workers. The three new contracts, which have a similar scope of work as the expiring ones, take effect April 11, 2013. Each carries a five-year term plus a two-year option period for a potential of seven years. “There is incentive for suppliers to keep existing staff for continuity of service. They have to come in and be ready to go,” Slater says. “We made it clear in the Request for Quotations (RFQ) that retention of incumbent staff is important.”

Over the past 10 years, numerous contracts covered Sandia IT services. One spanned telecommunications, three covered desktop support and the computer help desk and multiple individual specialized contracts encompassed a variety of other IT services, including onsite programmers, software administrators, high-performance computing, and cybersecurity.

Award A, an estimated $44.4 million contract for telecommunications, went to Mutual Telecom Services, headquartered in Needham, Mass. Award B was a small business set-aside, meaning only registered small businesses could bid. This work encompasses enterprise computing and corporate desktop support. The contract was awarded to The Kemtah Group of Albuquerque for an estimated $81 million. And Award C for mission computing services, encompassing a variety of other IT services and estimated at $227.5 million, went to Science Applications International Corp., headquartered in McLean, Va. The contracts require that the winning companies establish offices in Albuquerque.

Debbie Leitka of Sandia Procurement said businesses could have teamed up to bid on any of the awards during the solicitation phase.

“The contracts were awarded by best value determination where each bidder was asked to quote its most favorable terms, both from a price/cost and technical standpoint. The proposals determined to be the overall best value were selected,” Leitka says. “It was a level playing field.”

An executive summary providing information about the RFQ was posted in December 2011 on an external Sandia Web page dedicated to the contracts. Links to that page were posted on Sandia’s Business Opportunities Website, FedBizOpps, and Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration contracting sites.

Suppliers had about two months from the date of the posting to study the executive summary and decide whether to formally declare their intent to bid. Only those suppliers who filed an intent received the RFQ when it was released in February 2012.

Members of Sandia’s procurement and technical organizations evaluated the proposals and selected the successful bidders.

Leitka says the IT contracts were restructured to gain efficiencies, and long-term cost savings by integrating services. “The technical organizations wanted a more streamlined approach to IT services,” she says. “We want to integrate the IT coming through these contracting methods.”

The RFQ also required that the successful bidders improve efficiency in the way they deliver IT services and increase the levels of service in each year of the contract to achieve sustainability in performance and costs.

Slater says that with the old contracts expiring, “it was an opportunity to look at what worked and what didn’t. The technical organizations wanted to learn about what industry was doing, what efficiencies could be created, and they wanted to incorporate best practices. It was the right time to make all of that come to fruition.”

Most of the efficiencies gained will be through the reduced effort of managing three contracts instead of multiple contracts, he says.

“These contracts are structured to allow Sandia to move forward in IT,” Slater says. “It’s a foundation upon which we can evolve our IT services.”

Source: Sandia National Laboratories

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