Sunday, July 25, 2010

Advancing IT Projects

The Veterans Administration has announced a new contracting strategy known as “Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) to focus on giving veteran-owned small businesses more contracting opportunities. T4 will be managed and administered by VA’s Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, N.J. The Center provides acquisition and program management expertise to the VA’s Office of Information and Technology.

Secretary Eric K. Shinseki reported that the VA will soon issue a RFP for a program of multiple awards for up to five years that will go to firms that perform as prime contractors or subcontractors to meet the full range of VA’s long term technology needs.

T4 will award up to 15 prime contracts at least four of which are reserved for service-disabled veteran owned small businesses and three for veteran-owned small businesses. Over the five years, VA anticipates the program may approach $12 billion to support IT programs. The Secretary estimates that the T4 strategy will enable veteran owned small businesses to receive $800 million to 41 billion in contracts.

Large firms awarded prime contracts will have very aggressive subcontracting goals for both small and veteran owned businesses. To ensure the subcontracting goals are met, the VA will have the right to reserve set-asides for those businesses at the task order level. The VA has started a mentoring program to encourage large contractors to help small businesses improve their operations and the large contractors are also going to rely more on veteran-owned subcontractors.

The VA’s draft IT Strategic Plan FY 2010-2014 is currently under development and will be published and posted online once the document is approved. The goals as stated in the plan will reflect the current IT priorities of the Department’s Assistant Secretary for Information Technology.