GSA hires three small firms for EA support contract

The General Services Administration late last month awarded the government's highest profile enterprise architecture support contract to three small firms.

Advanced Performance Consulting Group?the prime contractor?and Touchstone Consulting Group, both of Washington, and High Performance Technology Inc. of Reston, Va., won the $6.7 million contract to support the Office of Management and Budget's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office.

The contract has a 15-month base period and two one-year options.

"This was a strong team that met various background areas that we wanted in the solicitation," said Keith Thurston, GSA's assistant deputy associate administrator for the Office of E-Government and Technology. "We were especially impressed with their communication and outreach plan. The team just had the right mix of skills."

GSA, which has executive procurement authority for OMB, considered four bids including one from incumbent vendor Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. and one from the Logistics Management Institute, both of McLean, Va.

Many large integrators originally were interested in the procurement, but GSA and OMB requirements on avoiding a conflict of interest reduced the field of bidders, Thurston said.

GSA required Advance Performance Consulting's team to sign a companywide and employee nondisclosure agreement to avoid conflicts of interest between the support contractors and the rest of their companies, Thurston said.

"What is good about these companies is all three are just consulting firms and do not implement IT systems," Thurston said. "How the companies were going to handle this issue was specifically evaluated in the decision process. Vendors had to propose conflict-of-interest management plans."

Advanced Performance Consulting will support the development and implementation of the Federal Enterprise Architecture reference models, support the Federal Enterprise Architecture Management System and analyze agency budget submissions for possible system redundancies, Thurston said.

Advanced Performance's first task order to migrate the support of FEAMS is under way and the next one will be to analyze the budget submissions for duplicative systems, Thurston said.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News magazine.

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