NIH launches $1B public outreach support recompete / OsakaWayne Studios

IT requirements are also included in this National Institutes of Health vehicle dubbed PICS, which is available to all Health and Human Services agencies.

The National Institutes of Health is now ready for industry to start working on and submitting proposals for the recompete of a go-to contract vehicle that supports the agency's public outreach efforts.

Iteration number three of the Public Information and Communication Services contract, or PICS III will have a $1 billion ceiling over five years and bids are due Jan. 18, NIH said in a notice Thursday. Like its predecessors, this new contract will be exclusive for small businesses to pursue.

NIH and other Health and Human Services Department agencies use the vehicle to acquire communication, evaluation and social marketing services. Other principal task areas include IT, conference support, foreign language translation, news media and operation support.

The current PICS II contract went to 10 small businesses in 2018 and currently has a $1.5 billion ceiling with approximately 61% of it obligated to-date, according to Deltek data. Fors Marsh Group is by-far the largest recipient of that spend at $941.9 million, followed by IQ Solutions at $112.3 million and Altarum Institute at $93 million.

Price will be a factor in the PICS III evaluation, but NIH says that these six non-cost factors are "significantly more important" than cost:

  • Experience in national and federal health programs
  • Management approach
  • Personnel and organizational strength
  • Quality of work products
  • Quality of facilities, equipment and supplies
  • Understanding of the work and technical objectives