Newsbriefs

Booz Allen splits

The wait is over ? Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
will split into two businesses with the sale of
its government unit to the Carlyle Group.
The company had said for several months
that the move was coming.

Its board of directors has
recommended the split,
and the sale is expected to
close by mid to late 2008.
Carlyle is buying a
majority stake in the government
business for
$2.54 billion.

Booz Allen's commercial business, which
will include its international government
work, will form a stand-alone company
owned and operated by the commercial officers.
That business will continue its focus on
management consulting.

Ralph Shrader, chairman and chief executive
officer, will lead the government business
unit.

Booz Allen ranks No. 11 on Washington
Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest
federal government prime contractors.

IBM joins FBI ID contract

IBM Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.
agreed to work together on the $1 billion
contract to develop and maintain the FBI's
Next Generation Identification system for
federal, state and local authorities.

Lockheed Martin won the 10-year contract
in February, but IBM protested the award
and work was held up. Big Blue's announcement
that it is joining the team as a subcontractor
didn't mention the protest.

Senators knock DHS cyberstrategy

The Homeland Security Department's proposed
$294 million cybersecurity initiative
might be overly reliant on contractors and
short on details, said Sens. Joseph Lieberman
(I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

DHS' fiscal 2009 proposal for the National
Cyber Security Division inadequately delineated
contractor roles, responsibilities and
limitations, and it failed to specify how the
division would monitor performance, the
senators said.

GSA rethinks awards

The General Services Administration will reevaluate
past-performance reviews for all 62
companies that bid on the $50 billion Alliant
contract, and the agency expects to make new
awards by December, a GSA official said.

The agency has similar plans for its Alliant
Small Business contract awards because it
used the same evaluation template as for the
Alliant contract.

AF seeks better cyber offense

The Air Force Research Laboratory is calling
for white papers on conducting successful
offensives against cyberspace adversaries.

The lab has $11 million in funding for the
two-year project to develop Dominant Cyber
Offensive Engagement and Supporting
Technology capabilities. Papers for fiscal
2008 are due June 5, and those for fiscal
2009 are due March 1, 2009.

Verizon to lead DHS OneNet award

Verizon Business will do the lion's share of
the work on the Homeland Security Department's
$970 million OneNet telecommunications
contract.

As the primary provider under the General
Services Administration's Networx Universal
contract vehicle, Verizon will get $678 million,
while backup provider AT&T Government
Solutions will get $292 million.

AF cancels ICE2 follow-on

The Air Force will discontinue its Intelligence
Information, Command and Control, Equipment
and Enhancements contract program
and transfer the services it provided to a program
managed by the Defense Intelligence
Agency. The Air Force Materiel Command
advised vendors vying for the opportunity to
consider DIA's Solution for the Information
Technology Enterprise contract.

Congress wants better event security

The federal government must develop an
effective national biosurveillance system and a
national medical intelligence program to
counteract the risk of biological threats during
mass gatherings, a congressional report states.

Recommendations include establishing a
National Medical Intelligence Program so
medical providers and law enforcement
authorities can share information.

Boeing readies SBInet sections

The Homeland Security Department's SBInet
border surveillance system is preparing to
move into its next phase, with two permanent
segments to be operational as early as
December, DHS and Boeing Co. officials said.

The new segments span 53 miles of the
Arizona/Mexico border and are the first permanent
operational installations of the $30 billion
Secure Border Initiative virtual fence.

Deepwater cutter field tests start

The Coast Guard took delivery of the 418-foot
Bertholf, the first National Security Cutter
produced under the $24 billion Deepwater
asset modernization program.

During the next two years of field tests, the
Bertholf will be under special status, so the
cutter will do crew training and equipment
testing rather than regular patrols.

House bill aims at airport biometrics

House lawmakers are considering a bill that
would require the Homeland Security
Department to consult with industry executives
on biometric identification for airport
security. The bill's goal is to ensure that a
comprehensive plan is in place before airports
begin using biometric ID systems.

Congress blamed for sourcing woes

Competitions between contractors and federal
employees for government work declined
in fiscal 2007 because of legal provisions that
ban such competition, Office of Management
and Budget officials said. For example, the
fiscal 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act
has at least eight provisions that deal with
competitive sourcing, and most of them limit
its use, an OMB official said.

House bill targets cybersecurity

The proposed Homeland Security Network
Defense and Accountability Act of 2008, now
before the House, would require the Homeland
Security Department to assess the robustness
of contractors' cybersecurity protection
before hiring them. The bill stipulates that
DHS must determine contractors' cybersecurity
posture before signing a contract.

CSC pays $1.37M, ends probe

Computer Sciences Corp. agreed to pay
$1.37 million to settle claims that it solicited
and received improper payments and
other items of value on technology contracts
with government agencies, the
Justice Department said.

The settlement resolves an action filed
against CSC by whistle-blowers Norman Rille
and Neal Roberts in September 2004 under
the False Claims Act.

Raytheon tailors 'Iron Man' suit

U.S. soldiers soon might be suiting up in "Iron
Man" wearable robotic armor that will let
them move freely while lifting heavy objects.

The futuristic Exoskeleton suit Raytheon
Co. is developing for the Army combines sensors,
controllers and other devices to let
wearers easily carry a man on their back or
do 100 reps with a 200-pound weight.

GSA contract clause debated

One way to improve the General Services
Administration's multiple-award schedule
contracts would be to reconsider use of the
price-reduction clause, a new advisory panel
said.

The clause helps ensure that the government
gets at least as good a deal as a contractor's
private-sector clients, but it's cumbersome,
often hard to apply to complex procurements
and sometimes unnecessary, one
critic said.

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