NIH seeks comment on new GWACs

The National Institutes of Health wants input from industry and federal agencies as it prepares to revise three governmentwide acquisition contracts in health and research information technology.

NIH's Request for Information, issued April 30, seeks comment on the next general contract or contracts that will succeed the Chief Information Officer ? Solutions and Partners 2 Innovations (CIO-SP2i) and Image World 2 New Dimensions (IW2nd) GWACs. They will expire in December 2010. NIH said it is planning to combine them into one contract.

The third GWAC, Electronic Commodities Store III, does not expire until 2012 and will remain in effect.

During the 10-year lifetime of the anticipated contract, technology will evolve, NIH said. So the government is looking for innovative solutions in developing a scope of work that focuses on health care IT and meets current and future needs of NIH; its parent agency, the Health and Human Services Department; and the government IT community.

NIH said it envisions 10 functional areas in the new contract, which are intended to be applied broadly to technology services.

The three GWACs were created to support a full range of IT needs for the federal government with a particular emphasis on agencies involved in health care and clinical and biological research, such as NIH and HHS.

NIH said issuing the RFI now will enable it to award the replacements to the CIO-SP2i and IW2nd contracts as far in advance as practical and help facilitate an effective contract transition.

Those two GWACs have accounted for approximately $2.95 billion in contractor work. Approximately 56 percent of that went to HHS customers, including NIH, the agency said.

Responses to the RFI must be received at NIH no later than May 15, 2008.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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