Army delays RFP for $20B enterprise contracts

The Army has announced a delay in the request for proposals and award of its $20 billion enterprise IT buy, saying it needs more time for evaluation.

Last month, the Army tapped 17 companies to compete for a piece of its IT Enterprise Solutions-2 Services contracts. Each vendor was notified that the Army had reviewed its corporate qualification submission and found it was a viable potential prime contractor for ITES-2S.

At the time, the Army said it would issue a request for proposals by the end of April and award the contracts in June.

But Kevin Carroll, program executive officer for enterprise information systems, said the service has been spending more time than anticipated briefing top brass in the Defense Department on the contracts.

"All of a sudden, people in DOD started calling us to say 'Come in and brief us.' We got more oversight," Carroll said. "We don't have any issues or problems with anything. We just want to do a good job in the evaluation process."

Plus, Carroll added, the Army wanted to fine-tune its plan to promote performance-based contracting that supports the service's enterprise infrastructure goals.

"We have a lot of vendors interested in ITES-2S, and we want to ensure adequate time for evaluation," Carroll said. "Frankly, we have room to play with the ITES 1 vehicle still being viable. We're trying to get the performance-based stuff down better. We're taking a little bit of time to do that. I don't think the impact to contractors will be that dramatic."

The draft RFP for ITES-2S will now go out April 26, and the new RFP release date is June 15. The Army is expected to award the contracts on Oct. 18, Carroll said.

ITES-2S is a follow-on to the original ITES program. The products and services contract vehicle will run for nine years and the Army expects to award eight contracts, four to large businesses and four to businesses having 1,500 employees or fewer.

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