NOAA looking for partners in mega-contract for IT services

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Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offered new details on the agency’s anticipated information technology services contract at an industry day Wednesday.

The NOAA Enterprise and Mission Information Technology Services contract is projected to be awarded in fiscal 2020 as a successor to the current IT contract, NOAALink. The officials said Wednesday that it would include faster delivery on task orders and a range of IT disciplines. They also stressed the need for industry partners in providing mission services.

“This is about building the infrastructure, building the applications and operating the systems that are absolutely critical to NOAA’s mission,” said agency Chief Information Officer Zach Goldstein. “It’s one of the reasons I love being in IT in this place, you can draw a direct connection between getting the IT right and protecting lives and livelihoods.”

Agency officials said NEMITS would be an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract offering multifaceted slated of IT services, including data center and cloud management, that can be procured through task orders that take up to 35 days.

“Our vision is to change from months and years to weeks the time it takes for a good idea to improve the mission to be manifest as an IT solution,” Goldstein said. “That means that we need expertise to advance the mission in agile development and DevOps and the very nature of enterprise solutions by taking infrastructure responsibility away from individual organizations, [it] frees up their time to work on those mission applications.”

NEMITS will offer a five-year contract base with a five-year option, plus a possible an additional 60-month ordering period, focusing on a range of services that include cloud computing and data center management, cybersecurity and tools for fostering IT workforce collaboration.

NOAA officials said that they anticipated 20 to 25 awardees, but that the number was subject to change, and that the contract would have a minimum $2.5 billion ceiling, which is the value of the NOAALink contract.

“We need to be looking for strategic partnerships for us to be successful,” said Jeffery Thomas, acting director of NOAA’s acquisition and grants office. “We need to bring in a cadre of large, medium and small-sized businesses to help us build out that IT infrastructure and mission support. Long-term relationships are what we are looking for.”

The final request for proposal for NEMITS isn’t expected to debut until early fiscal 2019, followed by an anticipated award in 2020.

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cloud computing, NEMITS, NOAA, NOAALink