RFP released for $20B NIH CIO-CS contract

The National Institutes of Health released the solicitation for its 10-year, $20 billion solicitation for the Chief Information Officer – Commodities and Solutions contract.

The CIO-CS is a governmentwide acquisition contract that will provide agencies with commodities and solutions related to general IT initiatives, along with health and life sciences IT capabilities. Beyond the health and biomedical research, CIO-CS also will offer services aligned with support for information management, operational, and administrative needs, such as security, infrastructure, telecommunications, and desktop applications.

This contract will succeed NIH’s current Electronic Commodities Store III contract. ECS III expires in November. CIO-CS will continue to support government IT efforts with a focus on health and biomedical-related IT in support of federal agencies’ health missions.

CIO-CS will offer an on-premise model, where the contractor will deploy commodities and products on either a government site or at another contractor site. Additional bundled services may be joined to one order for work, such as installations, warranty and maintenance, engineering, and training.

The contract will also have a managed services model, which includes support in the public cloud. In the last five years, agencies have increasingly deployed IT commodities via both managed services model and the cloud. “As a service” capabilities, such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service, have become commonplace. In those models, the service is managed through a service level agreement and is based on a subscription.

CIO-CS’s scope will include commodity-enabling services that ensure the successful operation and support of IT commodities.

NIH’s ECS III has 40 prime contractors, but NIH expects to make roughly 75 awards on CIO-CS. There may be 10 to 15 awards for electronic computer manufacturing and as many as 50 awards for other computer related services with about half of them going to small businesses.

NIH intends for small businesses to receive 60 percent of total value of delivery orders.

While the RFP is released, NIH still needs to get Office of Management and Budget’s approval to open the contract to all government agencies. NIH has submitted the paperwork and is working with OMB to get the executive agency designation.

The RFP was released May 7. Responses are due June 11.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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