Datastream | The news in brief

Six set to launch satellite work

The Army has chosen six companies to compete for work under its five-year, $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems contract.

The award winners include two large businesses: Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp.; and four small businesses: DataPath of Duluth, Ga.; D&SCI of Eatontown, N.J.; Globecomm Systems of Hauppauge, N.Y.; and TeleCommunications Systems of Annapolis, Md.

Each company will offer turnkey commercial satellite terminals and systems to run them, including hardware, software, services and data. The services range from operations to logistics support.

Both defense and civilian agencies can order from the contract. Army officials said the contract's products and services will support federal communications missions, including disaster relief and homeland security initiatives.

Database spending bill stuck

Proposed legislation that would establish a massive database to track
all kinds of federal spending is running into political roadblocks in Congress.

According to sources on Capitol Hill, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has placed an indefinite hold on S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, which would require the Office of Management and Budget to create and maintain a searchable database containing information on federal contracts, subcontracts, grants, subgrants, loans and other financial assistance.

GSA wobbles on HSPD-12

The General Services Administration has restarted work on a contested contract to help agencies begin issuing Personal Identity Verification cards under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12.

An agency spokesman confirmed that GSA had stopped working on the five-year, $104 million contract with BearingPoint Inc. immediately after Lockheed Martin Corp. protested the Aug. 18 award.

But after GSA officials began reviewing Lockheed Martin's complaint, the agency restarted work on the BearingPoint deal Sept. 7, the spokesman said.

The contract remains under investigation, and GSA has until the end of the month to conclude its probe.

Posse up for Real ID

BearingPoint Inc. and FileNet Corp. have forged a teaming agreement for process automation and records management solutions aimed at improving state motor-vehicle departments.

FileNet and BearingPoint officials said the companies have designed a solution that will help state motor-vehicle departments comply with the mandates of the Real ID Act of 2005, which calls for uniform criteria for content and issuance of state identification cards, including driver's licenses, and requires that states store and share records in secure databases.

Gault joins SI as exec VP

In a move designed to help it chase larger contracts, SI International Inc. has hired Leslee Gault as chief marketing officer.

Gault will be responsible for all corporate marketing activities.

The company wants to win more contracts such as its recent 10-year, $138 million pact with the Patent and Trademark Office to help the office with pre-grant publication classification services.

Major data fusion at DHS

The Homeland Security Department is building a major intelligence program that will use data mining and state-of-the-art analysis tools to discover and track terrorism threats against the United States.

The purpose of DHS' new Intelligence and Information Fusion system, according to a report from DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner, is to give the agency an integrated intelligence and information capability. The report describes nine data-mining programs in operation at DHS and three more in development.

Senate OKs GSA reorg bill

The General Services Administration's long-standing reorganization effort to establish the Federal Acquisition Service finally won the Senate's blessing after lawmakers cleared legislation formally recognizing the new division.

The Senate approved H.R. 2066 unanimously, with minor amendments. The bill now moves to a conference committee, so lawmakers can work out differences between the Senate and House versions.

Observers said they do not expect a lengthy conference, and the bill could be finalized within the next several weeks.

HP blade PCs to be offered

Hewlett-Packard Co. will make available to the reseller and integrator channel Nov. 1 a product that only has been available direct from the company: HP blade computers.

Blades are PCs in a low-height rack configuration, designed to be housed in a central facility and accessed by users via a LAN or over a WAN using thin clients.

John Snaider, HP's vice president for business PCs in North America, said several federal customers are using blade setups, but declined to identify the agencies.

NIST seeks software soft spots

The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched a service in its National Vulnerability Database to let vendors discuss the impact of vulnerabilities on their products.

NIST established the database as a central source for information on vulnerabilities. The database, at http://nvd.nist.gov, gets 25 million hits a year, and an Extensible Markup Language feed updates data for subscribers every two hours.

The database contains information from researchers about vulnerabilities they have found, but typically not from vendors who develop and sell the software products that might be affected.

Leslie Barry joins GTSI

Leslie Barry has been named to a new position at GTSI Corp.: vice president of government affairs and business development. She will be in charge of building a business development organization and will use her connections in the IT community to mentor GTSI's sales force.

She most recently was director of business development at CA Inc. She also has held similar positions at Computer Sciences Corp., Federal Data Corp. and other companies.

Courts rules on FedBizOpps deal

The Federal Claims Court has directed the General Services Administration to vacate its award to Symplicity Corp. of the contract to run the federal procurement Web site, FedBizOpps.gov.

In a draft decision, the court found that GSA did not evaluate the proposals properly, and said that if the agency continues with the procurement, it should appoint a new source selection committee, which should re-evaluate the original proposals of Symplicity, the protester Information Sciences Corp., and the intervener Development Infostructure Corp.

Eight to vie for TWIC

The Transportation Security Administration announced that it has selected eight vendors to compete for enrollment and help-desk services under the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, a job that could lead to an estimated $1.2 billion in payments from card recipients.

The agency said in a notice on FedBiz

Opps.gov that the eight companies are BearingPoint Inc., Computer Sciences Corp., EDS Corp., IBM Corp., Integrated Biometric Technology, Lockheed Martin Corp., Maximus Inc. and Motorola Inc.

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