Army to issue contract for AKO portal, RFPs for GFEBS, ITES-2

LAS VEGAS?The Army is expected to award one key contract and issue a request for proposals for another by month's end. The contracts represent roughly $1.4 billion in combined procurements and include the Army Knowledge Online enterprise portal and the General Fund Enterprise Business System, a consolidated approach for the service's financial-management systems.

In addition, the Army plans to issue an RFP for its IT Enterprise Solutions-2 Services contract in July. ITES-2S is a nine-year, $20 billion hardware, software and services contract vehicle.

AKO, the Army's effort to integrate hundreds of applications and services across a common enterprise portal, currently has seven contractors managing various components. Through the RFP, the Army will hire a single contractor by June 30 to maintain the portal under a performance-based contract worth more than $500 million, officials said.

"AKO is bringing more functionality [and] more services to the Army," said Kevin Carroll, program executive officer for enterprise information systems, during an address at the Army Small Computer Program this week. "AKO has been a big hit. Usage is up high."

The concept of GFEBS, a joint, financial-management program established in October 2003, is to consolidate the functions of the legacy Standard Financial System and the Standard Operations and Maintenance R&D System. The consolidation would give Army and Defense Department officials a better idea of how money is disbursed through the general and working capital funds.

The vendors expected to compete for the GFEBS contract include: Accenture Ltd., BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., Computer Sciences Corp., Deloitte Consulting and IBM Corp.

DOD has never complied with the 1990 Chief Financial Officers Act, which ordered federal agencies to centralize their finance systems to better account for their spending. GFEBS, a six-year, $850 million program, aims to put the Army and other services on better footing to comply with the act.

GFEBS would link to DOD's business enterprise architecture and should have these capabilities:

  • General ledger, payments and receivables management

  • Funds management

  • Cost management and

  • Financial reporting.

The RFP for GFEBS is expected out by the end of the month, according to an Army spokesman.

Under a recently revised acquisition structure, the Army will take proposals from five vendors that already have blanket purchase agreements for enterprise resource planning integration services under DOD's Enterprise Software Initiative.

Dawn S. Onley is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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