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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $22.3 billion in contracts to 21 large businesses, small businesses and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). The contracts will be in support of information technology infrastructure improvements, cyber security and operations and network management. This is a boon for veteran business owners.

The awards are part of VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation acquisition program, also known as T4NG.

“This T4NG award is one of the many ways the Department is supporting the MyVA breakthrough initiatives by directly providing the technology that our Veterans need to support the services they receive from VA,” said Secretary Robert McDonald. “The T4NG will help meet and strengthen VA’s long-term technology needs.”

Of the 21 contract awarded, 10 were made to Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs), two awards were made to small businesses, and nine awards were made to large businesses.

T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

The Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses awarded the contracts are:

AbleVets, LLC, B3 Group, Inc., Fairfax, VA,  Business Information Technology Solutions, Inc., Falls Church, VA, Favor TechConsulting, LLC, Richmond, VA, Halfaker & Associates, LLC, Arlington, VA, HMS Technologies, LLC, Martinsburg, WV, Intelligent Waves, LLC, Reston, VA, Liberty IT Solutions, LLC, Herndon, VA, Nester Consulting LLC, dba GovernmentCIO, Columbia, MD and TISTA Science and Technology Corp., Rockville, MD.

T4NG is a Multi-Agency (MAC) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Task Order (MATO) contract with a base ordering period of 5 years and one 5-year option period, with a program ceiling of $22.3 billion.  The contract is being managed by VA’s Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, New Jersey.

We hope the government will continue to seek out and support Veteran Business Owners and Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners and award contracts to them.

govt contract

HMS Technologies has been awarded one of only ten Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contracts by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The contract is for the VA’s Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation program, or T4NG. The contract will enable HMS to provide the VA and its employees an avenue to offer veterans, worldwide, the means to quickly access the Department for their specific IT needs, expedite service delivery, and improve filing and speed of processing claims.

“The entire HMS Team is honored to receive this award and we are excited about having this contract vehicle so we can continue to provide VA the Information Technology services that will enhance services that support our veterans,” said HMS CEO Bill Kirkpatrick. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the VA to serve our nations heroes.”

HMS ranks 68th on the Federal Government’s list of Top 100 Government-wide Acquisition Contractors and was also named SBA’s Small Business of the Year for 2008 in WV.

With an anticipated ceiling value of approximately $22.3 billion, T4NG is the largest Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract awarded out of the VA. The T4NG program will replace the original T4 multiple-award contract that expires in June 2016.

HMS was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Martinsburg, WV.

afone

The Boeing Company was awarded a contract Jan. 29 for risk reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, which will field the next Air Force One.

This is the first contract the Air Force has awarded for this program. Additional modifications will be made to this contract in the future to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, as well as to design, modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.

These efforts are the first step in a deliberate process to control program risks and life cycle costs. These activities will include the definition of detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions that will lead to a lower risk Engineering and Manufacturing Development program and lower life cycle costs.

“This is the start of our contractual relationship with Boeing. It will allow Boeing to begin working on what will be the next Air Force One,” said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager. “This initial effort is about reducing risk, really understanding where the tough work will be, finding affordability opportunities, and getting the best value for the taxpayer, while continuing to meet the needs of our commander in chief.”

The secretary of the Air Force has made it clear that affordability will be a key element of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program.

“We will continue to insist upon program affordability through cost conscious procurement practices,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

“The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America at home and abroad,” James said. “We will ensure the next Air Force One meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest.”

The Air Force wants to own enough of the technical baseline to permit competition for modifications and sustainment throughout the aircraft’s planned 30-year life cycle. Competition can keep costs down, spur innovation and provide technical options.

“We are focused on ensuring this program is affordable,” McCain said. “This contract gets us started on determining how to modify a 747-8 to become the next Air Force One, and finding opportunities for cost reduction through detailed requirements choices, competition of subsystems, and in the sustainment of the aircraft after it has been fielded.”

“The current fleet of VC-25A presidential aircraft has performed exceptionally well, a testament to the Airmen who support, maintain and fly the aircraft,” James said. “Yet, it is time to replace them. Parts obsolescence, diminishing manufacturing sources and increased down times for maintenance are existing challenges that will increase until a new aircraft is fielded.”

oshkosh

By Debbie Gregory.

Last week, Lockheed Martin Corp. officials announced that they have filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon over the U.S. Army’s decision to award a $6.75 billion contract to Oshkosh Corporation.

The contract is to build a replacement for the Humvee combat vehicle.

The Army plans to buy about 55,000 of the multipurpose vehicles for its troops and the Marine Corps through 2040, spending an estimated $30 billion. Oshkosh in August was awarded the initial order for about 17,000 JLTVs, which are more heavily armored than the Humvees they will replace.

“After careful consideration of all options, Lockheed Martin decided to file a complaint with the Court of Federal Claims concerning our Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) contract award process,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We look forward to working with all parties involved on the next steps.”

A hearing was scheduled for Friday before Judge Charles Lettow. Lettow granted Lockheed’s motion to seal its complaint against the contract award. Lettow also sealed a Lockheed motion for an injunction in the case, but has not yet ruled on that move, court papers show.

The government’s answer is due by February16th.

Oshkosh Vice President John Urias said he believed the court will uphold the Army’s selection.

Oshkosh Corporation, based in Oshkosh, WI, was ranked the 48th largest American defense contractor for 2015 by Defense News. Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, MD, ranked first.

Urias stated that he had confidence in the Army’s procurement process, which he said included “exhaustive testing and evaluation to ensure our troops get the best vehicle.”

Because Department of Defense spending has been shrinking, competition for military contacts has tightened in recent years. While the number of contract protests filed with the GAO rose 5 percent in 2014 fiscal year, successful protests fell from 17 percent in 13 percent.

road work

By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved H.R. 1694, the Fairness to Veterans for Infrastructure Investment Act. The legislation would include veterans in the Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and would provide parity for the nearly 1 million veterans who are small business owners seeking government contracts. This would level the playing field in federal contracting for veteran-owned businesses by providing veterans access to existing preferences authorized for transportation projects.

Sponsored by Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Don Young (R-Alaska), the legislation calls for states that receive federal money for transportation projects to included veteran-owned businesses in their contracting processes. They added that there are 380,000 construction firms that are owned by veterans in the U.S. that could help build projects across the nation.

Currently, only half of the states meet their DBE goals. Adding veteran small businesses to this program would increase the pool of eligible firms at the states’ disposal. For states that already meet their goals, this bill does not affect them or the small business contractors they employ.

“Our veterans are the most highly skilled workforce in America’s history – the product of rigorous training, an iron-clad commitment to teamwork and the remarkable ability to succeed where others might fail,” said Fitzpatrick. He continued. “We need Fairness to Veterans so we are leveraging the unique strengths of veteran entrepreneurs to address the challenges at home.”

“There’s no question that America’s veterans, who have sacrificed so much for the greater good, are able and ready to put their battle tested skills towards improving our nation’s roads, highways, and critical infrastructure projects,” said Young

The legislation now goes on to the Senate for consideration. The text of the bill is available on the Congress.gov website.

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