DISA readies solicitation for Global Information Grid

Tony Montemarano, component acquisition executive, DISA

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By Jared Serbu
Federal News Radio

The Defense Information Services Agency is preparing to issue final requests for proposals for managed services contracts for the Defense Department’s Global Information Grid (GIG) following a delay of several months.

DISA expects to issue the first of three RFPs for the project in mid-January, said Tony Montemarano, the agency’s component acquisition executive. DISA valued that contract, related to operations, at up to $4.6 billion in a draft solicitation released in June.

DISA expects to issue a second RFP for systems engineering about a month later. Speaking on Friday at a luncheon hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Montemarano told vendors the final solicitation was delayed because of high scrutiny being given by the Defense Department to full and open contracts.

“We need a level playing field between the various vendors who are going to compete for this,” Montemarano said. “We just aren’t going to give it to the incumbent. Sorry. We need competition. We owe it to the taxpayer, we owe it to the competition, we owe it to the incumbent. But the other level playing field we need is once the contract is awarded, we have to have a level playing field between the industry and government. We’re taking a traditionally time-and-materials environment and we’re going to make it performance based.”

Montemarano said that budget re-prioritizations within DoD would not impact the GIG.

“You cannot maintain the communications infrastructure and many of the security infrastructures without these things,” he said. “So those are going to happen, they’re not going to get delayed for funding or any of that garbage.”

Meanwhile, Montemarano also said DISA was canceling plans for another RFP to integrate desktop and video collaboration. He said that even though several vendors had expressed interest, the agency conducted engineering analysis and determined that technology to provide an all-in-one system wasn’t yet feasible.

“We are going to evolve based on the maturity of technology,” Montemarano said. “We will look to you to help us, but the bottom line is it’s not going to be a managed service contract.”

Montemarano also discussed:

  • The agency’s move to a new Ft. Meade campus in Maryland. The gradual seven-month transition will begin in January as the agency relocates roughly 200 employees per week.
  • Each organization within DISA soon will have its own deputy chief technology officer reporting to the DISA CTO. “We’re trying to synchronize all of our engineering efforts and make sure we’re in tune with one another,” Montemarano said.
  • DISA’s collaboration with the General Services Administration to develop a shared satellite communications system is on track and has met every milestone. The Future Commercial Satellite Communications system will replace commercial satellite communication contracts that are expiring. He said DISA and GSA expect to award multiple indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts this summer.

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