Coast Guard readies professional services contract

A long-awaited major professional services contract to be awarded by the Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate is coming close to fruition.

The directorate is preparing to issue a request for proposals in weeks for a five-year contract to acquire professional support in program management, engineering, acquisition services and administrative services. The contract could be valued at up to $650 million if all options are exercised, according to market research firm Input Inc. It has one base year and four additional one-year options.

“The Coast Guard anticipates release of this RFP in the late September/mid-October timeframe,” Laura Williams, communications director for the Coast Guard Office of Strategic Planning and Communications, confirmed Aug. 20.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract involves no information technology services. It is anticipated to be awarded to multiple awardees that will compete for task orders, said Input.

The maximum amount to be spent on program management, engineering and technology is $450,000; for contracts management and administration professional support services, $100,000; and for business management, studies and analysis, $100,000, Input said.

The acquisition unit was formed in June 2007 to consolidate and strengthen oversight over major procurement programs, including the $26 billion Deepwater program replacing aging ships and aircraft. In April 2009, the directorate had a 16 percent vacancy rate, according to the Government Accountability Office. In June, the directorate got a new chief, Rear Admiral Ronald Rabago.

To beef up their capacity, the directorate issued a Sources Sought notice in October 2008 and held an Industry Day in December 2008. “Our work has shown they are using support contractors to help augment their workforce,” said John Hutton, director of acquisition and sourcing management at the GAO.

Several vendors are lining up for the work. “This is a great opportunity,” said Tom Balish, vice president of Washington, D.C., operations for Navigator Development Group Inc., a solutions and professional services provider.

“We are working hard on this but we don’t want to talk about it because we don’t want to offend the client,” said another vendor representative.