News briefs

TSA slid on sole-source awards

The Transportation Security Administration
didn't fully justify the lack of competition for
$469 million in single-source contracts it
awarded in fiscal 2006, said Richard Skinner,
the Homeland Security Department's
Inspector General.

Only one of TSA's 16 noncompetitive contracts
? for a $225,000 optical device ? met
all requirements, the IG report states. Singlesource
contracts accounted for 31 percent of
TSA's $1.5 billion in procurements.

CACI: Abu Ghraib lawsuits baseless

CACI International Inc. has denied what it
calls the malicious and unfounded allegations
that the company was involved in the torture of
four former Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib
prison. Suits charging CACI, a CACI subsidiary,
an L-3 Communications Corp. subsidiary
and three employees of the contractors
with violations of U.S. law ? including torture,
war crimes and civil conspiracy ? were filed in
federal court June 30.

Bush wants clearance standards

President Bush issued an executive order June
30 establishing a council charged with setting
governmentwide standards for checking backgrounds
of government employees and contractors.

The Suitability and Security Clearance
Performance Accountability Council will review
procedures for investigating and ruling on
whether a person should be allowed access to
sensitive information or federally controlled

Boeing net for SBI: $1B and change

Boeing Co. has received more than $1 billion
? more than was previously disclosed ? for
work on the Secure Border Initiative along
the Mexican border in Arizona, a
Government Accountability Office report
states. From September 2006 to January
2008, Customs and Border Protection
awarded Boeing $1.15 billion through eight
task orders for SBI and the SBInet fence and
surveillance system, GAO said.

Bill would stall contract bonuses

The chairman of the House Homeland
Security Committee wants Homeland
Security Department officials to ensure contractors
do their job before the government
pays them bonuses.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) introduced
a bill requiring DHS to pay a bonus
under a cost-plus-award-fee contract only
after the company meets the outcomes specified
in the contract.

Efficiency drives spending

Contractors looking for work in the tight fiscal
environment of state and local government
need to focus on projects that will produce
savings that can be redirected to priority
areas, a new Input Inc. study states. The state
and local government IT market will grow
from $48.4 billion in 2008 to $64.9 billion in
2013, with professional services and outsourcing
fueling nearly half of the $16.5 billion in
growth in the next five years, Input said.

Unisys dropped from Phase 2

Unisys Corp. has been dropped from the
selection list for Phase 2 of the Transportation
Security Administration's $1 billion infrastructure
modernization contract.

Unisys had been lead contractor on the
Information Technology Infrastructure
Program's predecessor, IT Managed Services.
Bills would up cybersecurity funds
Competing House and Senate Appropriations
committee measures call for as much as
$319 million for Homeland Security
Department cybersecurity efforts.

The House calls for $299 million and the
Senate $319 million for fiscal 2009. The
Bush administration had requested
$294 million. The enacted budget for cybersecurity
in fiscal 2008 was $210 million.

U.S., Britain forge traveler pact
The U.K. and the U.S. governments have
signed an agreement to develop a trustedtraveler
initiative allowing prescreened passengers
to receive expedited processing when
arriving at airports in the other country.

The International Expedited Traveler
Initiative between the United Kingdom and
United States was signed June 24.
The new program is expected to be
aligned with the Homeland Security
Department's recently established Global
Entry Program, an international registeredtraveler

Deepwater acquisition over its head

The Coast Guard has improved oversight of
its $24 billion Deepwater asset acquisition
program but is still struggling to hire enough
in-house experts for the job, a Government
Accountability Office report states.

The Coast Guard took over the lead systems
integrator role for Deepwater a year ago
but continues relying on contractor advice
for crucial information such as cost estimates,
and it's having difficulty reducing the
20 percent vacancy rate in its acquisition
office, GAO said.

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contracts DB