The month that was

A roundup of important news and trends in the government market

$2.5 billion up for grabs

Another multibillion dollar contract has hit the streets, with 35 winners now set to vie for task orders under the Army’s Operations, Planning, Training and Resource Support Services II contract.

Worth $2.5 billion, the contract went to 13 large contractors and 22 small businesses. The procurement was issued by the Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command Center at Fort McPherson, Ga., and will support the Army Forces Command.

Support services fall across eight military operations areas: operational planning, training, modeling and simulation, flight operations, mobilization planning and execution, deployment operations, force protection, and transformation.

For more information on the winners, check out our contract portal page at

M&A burns hot, hot, hot

The last month has seen a torrid pace of acquisitions, with multiple deals being announced each week.

The big headline-grabber was SRA International’s announcement that it would be acquired by Providence Equity Partners for $1.9 billion. If the deal goes through, SRA would become a privately held company again.

Although SRA will have new owners, founder Ernst Volgenau will remain as chairman, and the rest of the company’s management team also will stay in place.

Interestingly, Volgenau, who controls enough of SRA’s stock to stop any takeover, abstained from voting on the acquisition, so the decision would be based on what was best for the company as a whole.

Another head-turning acquisition was Deltek’s $26 million deal for market research firm FedSources. Deltek also acquired a couple of consulting businesses affiliated with FedSources.

The acquisition comes on the heels of Deltek’s acquisition in late 2010 of FedSources' main rival, Input. Both acquisitions are part of Deltek’s strategy to offer customers products and services that start with identifying contract opportunities through capture management and winning the contract and then on through managing and completing the project.

Other major deals:

  • Qwest Communications International merged with fellow telecommunications company CenturyLink.
  • EMC Corp. bought security firm NetWitness Corp.
  • Harris Corp. closed two deals: Global Connectivity Services and Carefx Corp.
  • BAE Systems bought Fairchild Imaging.
  • CA Technologies acquired Base Technologies.
  • Computer Sciences Corp. bought iSoft Group Ltd. and sold AdvanceMed to NCI Inc.
  • Level 3 announced a deal for telecom firm Global Crossing.

One bullet dodged, another loaded

Congress and President Barack Obama averted a government shutdown with some last-second negotiations. It is hard to tell who blinked in their metaphorical game of chicken.

But at least until Sept. 30, the government has a budget, and contractors have some predictability and stability.

Or do they?

The debt ceiling will likely hit its limit as early as May 16, though there are indications that some accounting maneuvers will extend it a few more weeks.

The United States will start to default on its obligations if the ceiling isn’t raised, and yes, the government likely will need to shut down.

No expects that to happen, but what is expected is more rhetoric and more all-night negotiations. Factions in Congress will likely want another round of budget cuts tied to raising the ceiling.

Politics and procurement; strange bedfellows

The Obama administration wants contractors to file information about their campaign contributions when they submit responses to requests for proposals.

They argue that the requirement will take the politics out of procurements. Industry groups such as the Professional Services Council have come out against the idea, as has Washington Technology Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman (see his editor’s note).

Opposition centers on questions of how procurement officials would use the information and whether procurements are an appropriate place for tracking political activity.

Nominations open for 2011 Rising Stars

Recognize your company’s up-and-comers by nominating them as a 2011 Rising Star, an annual program produced by 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Washington Technology, Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News.

The deadline for submitting nominations is June 1.

This annual program honors both government and industry employees who are making a mark in the federal IT community. Such employees often do good work behind the scenes supporting essential programs or spearheading new initiatives but without ever receiving public recognition.

So the Rising Star awards program is an opportunity for agencies and contractors to give their unsung heroes a moment in the spotlight, both as a reward to them and as an example to others.

Here are the basic guidelines:

  • Individuals in both government and industry are eligible.
  • There is no age limit, but we are looking for employees in the first third of their career in the federal IT community. This leaves room for folks who went into public service in a midlife career change.
  • As with the Federal 100 awards, the Rising Star judges will be looking for individuals who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make an impact in their organization.
  • The judges also will be looking for indications that the nominees have clear potential to grow into more responsibility in their organizations and in the community at large.
  • As with the Federal 100, the nomination form includes a place for supporting nominators. If you nominate someone but are not his or her supervisor, please ask the supervisor to serve as a supporting nominator. And do not list the supervisor without asking first.

Coming next: The 2011 Top 100

Our annual rankings will be out in the June issue of Washington Technology. We’ll list the largest government contractors of the past year and delve into the trends and issues that face the market today.

The coverage will include profiles of the top 20 contractors, an analysis of the Top 100 data and other insights into government contracting.

Quotable: “If I’m working on something my customer doesn’t need, why am I doing it?” Rick White, Deltek, story Page 16


About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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