Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NIH Issues Pre-Solicitation Notice

On August 17th, NIH published a pre-solicitation notice with details on the new Chief Information-Officer-Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) Government Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). The full solicitation will be issued on or about September 1, 2010 on www.fbo.gov but so far a definite date has not been set.

A GWAC is a procurement vehicle that can be used by any federal, civilian, or DOD agency to purchase information technology products and services. The new NIH CIO-SP3 GWAC contracting vehicle will support the full range of IT needs not only across the federal government, but emphasis agencies involved in healthcare and clinical biological research like HHS and NIH.

There are benefits to using a GWAC since this contracting vehicle enables a federal agency to get IT products and services faster, easier, and more cost-effective than by issuing their own individual contracts. This method of contracting enables NIH to have more knowledge on bidders plus the bidder’s prices have been pre-competed and pre-negotiated for below market pricing. The new GWAC will be the successor contract to NIH’s current CIO-SP2 and the Image World 2 New Dimensions (IW2nd) GWACs that are expiring December 2010.

NIH has made some changes in how they deal with the GWACs. The NIH Information Technology Assessment and Acquisition Center (NITAAC) have upgraded their capabilities to run the new GWAC. Several initiatives are underway to streamline the processes and to develop customer-focused initiatives such as providing for e-ordering systems to enable RFPs and RFQs to be completed in 10 minutes or less, development of automated tools to help fulfill FAR requirements, and the development of capabilities that will enable pre-competed and pre-negotiated prices to remain stable.

The government is planning to solicit a second GWAC for small businesses. The small business set-aside GWAC will be announced under a separate notice at www.fbo.gov.

The point of contact is Donald Wilson, at wilsond@od.nih.gov. To reach the contracting office, contact the NIH Information Acquisition and Assessment Center, in Bethesda MD.