TSA ready to move on with ITIP contract

Monday - 5/24/2010, 6:59am EDT

WFED's Jason Miller

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By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

The Transportation Security Administration is just over a week away from ending one of the longest running sagas in federal technology contracting.

TSA, for a second time since September, awarded CSC a $489 million contract to manage its Information Technology Infrastructure Program (ITIP). CSC initially won the award in September, but two unsuccessful bidders-Unisys and General Dynamics-protested the decision to the Government Accountability Office. This was the second protest of third protest of this contract since TSA started in 2007.

TSA pulled the award back after GAO ruled in January in favor of the protesters, and reevaluated bids only to again choose CSC.

"It's basically providing the IT infrastructure capabilities to support TSA's mission of keeping the public safe," says Emma Garrison-Alexander, TSA's assistant administrator for IT and chief information officer in an interview with Federal News Radio. "This really is our major infrastructure contract to provide our network services across TSA, not just headquarters, but for all of the airports and our international sites."

TSA made the award through the Homeland Security Department's EAGLE multiple award contract. Under the five-year deal, CSC will provide a host of services including seat managed services, such as desktops, laptops, peripherals, voice and other similar hardware, according to TSA notice on FedBizOpps.gov from May 2005 when it extended Unisys's original contract.

"This is a very important contract when it comes to TSA's mission," she says. "I'm glad we have gotten to this point and I'm looking forward to moving forward because it will make a difference and it will be important to continuing to support TSA's mission."

Garrison-Alexander couldn't offer too many details as the award still is in the protest period, which runs through June 2.

Industry sources say along with CSC, Unisys, EDS, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin all bid on the solicitation. In the summer of 2008 the contract became more contentious when TSA picked only CSC, General Dynamic and Lockheed Martin to submit best and final offers, eliminating Unisys, EDS and Northrop. The unsuccessful bidders protested and TSA eventually let everyone submit final bids.

Garrison-Alexander says if TSA gets through the protest period unscathed, the transition from Unisys to CSC will begin. She says the agency will implement capabilities that it has been waiting for over the last two years.

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