Navy releases draft RFP for $14.5B NGEN contract

The Navy has released a draft request for proposals for its $14.5 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network program, offering planning information and seeking questions and comments from contractors interested in bidding on the contract or contracts.

An NGEN industry day will also be held Oct. 28 in Washington at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Comments are due back to the Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) program management office by Oct. 30. The draft RFP is open to all companies that have signed a non-disclosure agreement with the NGEN procurement contracting officer.

The final RFP is scheduled for a Dec. 21 release, with the contract – which may end up being split into two contracts – expected to be awarded in December 2012, according to a release from the Navy.

The draft RFP release “is the last major opportunity for industry to comment on the NGEN acquisition strategy prior to the issuance of the RFP. All of the feedback that we have received from industry to date has been invaluable in the development of the RFP. Our goal is that when the RFP is officially issued, industry will be able to bid on it and execute the requirements flawlessly,” said Capt. Shawn Hendricks, NEN program manager, in a released statement.

According to the release, the Navy is putting forth the draft RFP in an effort to facilitate dialogue between the Navy and industry and address questions about NGEN.

As the follow-on to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, which has more than 700,000 users, NGEN's sheer mass is drawing volumes of inquiries, including at an Aug. 18 industry day that drew hundreds of attendees.

“No one has ever done this before – no one has ever transitioned a network of this size, because there is no other network of this size,” Hendricks said at a media roundtable that followed the August event. “It’s overwhelming how big and important what we do is. We’re trying to do the right thing for the sailors and Marines, and it’s hard. There’s never been a competition like this.”

There are also still some uncertainties in the competition – namely, whether there will be one or two contracts. Hendricks indicated that the NGEN services are being divided into two segments: network transport and enterprise services. But he stressed that the Navy could award both contracts to a single vendor capable of best providing those services at the best value; or, it could go to more than one vendor among those competing to operate NGEN’s 38 enterprise services.

The contract or contracts will be awarded on a lowest price, technically acceptable basis. Deltek estimates the value at $14.5 billion.

“This is a full and open competition. I don’t care who provides the services; I just want the best value for government, services not to be compromised and the transition assured. I cannot afford even a one minute loss of productivity,” Hendricks said in August.

NMCI currently is operated under a continuity-of-services contract with Hewlett-Packard Co., which has provided NMCI services since it acquired EDS, the original NMCI contract awardee.

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