DorobekInsider: Recovery Board responds to questions — and even posts the Recovery.gov statement of work

Friday - 7/10/2009, 5:39pm EDT

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board late Friday posted a response to all the questions about its $9.5 million award for the redesign of Recovery.gov.

The big question:

* Isn’t $9.5 million a lot of money to build a Web site?… The Recovery Board essentially says this isn’t just the creation of the Web site.

The initial outlay, $9,516,324, covers many facets: redesign and construction of a new website; installation of hardware and software infrastructure; hosting and operations for the website; more robust data storage; an enhanced content-management system; and contract labor support and other features. If the Recovery Board exercises options under the contract, the cost could total $17,948,518 over a period ending in January 2014.

The Recovery Board also posted the statement of work that was used to solicit vendors. You can see that here… or find it below… (UPDATE: Giving credit where credit is due — the statement of work was actually posted by Sunlight Labs. The Recovery Board included that link with its press release, which I guess confirms any questions there may have been that it was the actual statement of work. That being said, there are going to continue to be calls for the Recovery Board to post the contract — even in redacted form — for the redesign of the Recovery.gov Web site.)

Here is the full statement:

Contract Awarded for Construction of New Recovery.gov

Friday, July 10, 2009

WASHINGTON—In a major step toward developing a state-of-the-art Recovery.gov website, a contract was awarded this week to Smartronix, Inc., a Maryland information technology firm. The company will build the new website for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, an independent agency that manages Recovery.gov and monitors spending under the $787 billion Recovery program.

The initial outlay, $9,516,324, covers many facets: redesign and construction of a new website; installation of hardware and software infrastructure; hosting and operations for the website; more robust data storage; an enhanced content-management system; and contract labor support and other features. If the Recovery Board exercises options under the contract, the cost could total $17,948,518 over a period ending in January 2014.

Smartronix, based in Hollywood, Maryland, describes itself on www.smartronix.com as “a global professional solutions provider specializing in NetOps, Cyber Security, Enterprise Software Solutions, Defense & Commercial Products, and Health IT.” The company won the contract over two other bidders, according to the General Services Administration, which made the award.

Smartronix is now working with three subcontractors: Synteractive Corporation, Washington, D.C.; TMP Government, based in McLean, Va., and New York-based KPMG.

“With the assistance of GSA,” said Earl E. Devaney, the Recovery Board chairman, “we proceeded in a careful fashion to find the best value for the taxpayers’ dollar.” He went on to say: “In the end, this website, above all else, must be user friendly and provide the public with the necessary information on how its money is being spent.”

Devaney explained that the Recovery Board needed also to move swiftly because recipients of Recovery funds—perhaps 200,000 or more—will begin submitting reports to the Recovery Board in October. That information will be posted almost immediately on Recovery.gov, he said.

Devaney and the 12 Inspectors General who comprise the Recovery Board described the contract as firm fixed and competitively bid for operations and maintenance, providing a full solution package to include:

  • Develop the next generation of Recovery.gov, which will be visually pleasing, user friendly and highly interactive.
  • A mapping capacity that will allow users to search for spending all the way down to their own neighborhoods.
  • The capacity to store and easily download massive amounts of data.
  • A state-of-the-art security platform that will protect the integrity and availability of the data and a back-up system in the event of a major catastrophe such as 9/11 or a large-scale power outage.
  • Contract support to perform a wide array of hosting, maintenance and operational services.

The pre-solicitation notice was posted on the FedBizOpps Web site on June 11, 2009. You can see that here.

Here is the statement of work that was sent to vendors on GSA’s Alliant contract: