New draft out on $10B NIH CIO-CS contract

The National Institutes of Health is continuing to push along the development of its $10 billion Chief Information Officer – Commodity Solutions contract.

A second draft request for proposals has been released for comment on the contract that will replace the Electronic Commodities Store II contract.

The release of the new draft RFP also includes NIH’s response to questions generated by the first draft that released in April.

Comments on the second draft are due June 24.

The NIH CIO-CS contract will be used to buy commodity IT products and solutions than can help NIH with its health and life sciences IT capabilities. The contract will open up the opportunity for companies to sell these IT capabilities via a managed services model, including a cloud computing offering.

The RFP acknowledges the increasing uses of managed services where software, infrastructure and platforms are delivered as a service and managed through a service-level agreement.

Proposals are also expected to include a traditional on-premises model, where the contractor will sell and install products and provide related services.

The contract has nine product categories:

  • Category 1 – End User Hardware Commodities
  • Category 2 – End User Telecommunications Hardware
  • Category 3 – End User Software Commodities
  • Category 4 – IT Security Software Commodities
  • Category 5 – Enterprise Wide Software Commodities
  • Category 6 – Health and Biomedical Research IT Commodities
  • Category 7 – On-Premise Infrastructure
  • Category 8 – Telecommunications Plans
  • Category 9 – Infrastructure and Platform as a Service

The draft RFP has detailed descriptions about what each category includes. For example, Category 1 – End User Hardware includes PCs, printers, and fax machines. Category 2 – End User Telecommunications Hardware includes mobile phones and broadband devices.

The ECS III has been a popular vehicle at NIH, with $361.4 million in task orders during fiscal 2012 and $156.5 million so far in fiscal 2013, according to Deltek.

The contract's solicitation number is NIHOD2013418.

About the Author

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

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