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FCW : July 15, 2016
Acquisition 24 July 15, 2016 FCW.COM with Army standards, which takes some of the hassle of monitoring compliance out of CHESS’ hands. “We can’t police all 17 vendors and all of the sales that go through,” she said of ITES-3H. “So we basically remind the contractors that if they sell products that are not in compliance, the gov- ernment cannot use them. And that is definitely a bad mark against that company.” Officials said CHESS strictly adheres to its mandate of providing contracting vehicles and does not veer into policy or procurement. Watson said there is a practical reason for that approach: Contracting officers know their requirements far better than CHESS officials do, “so they’re able to negotiate better pricing, negotiate the terms and conditions that fit their requirement better than CHESS could ever do.” The contract template that CHESS provides, with its established terms and conditions, saves contracting officers the time and energy of put- ting together their own contracts from scratch. “The process is streamlined and decentralized for the customers, so it cuts out a whole lot of work that...the customers would have to do,” Harris said. CHESS officials pride themselves on the flex- ibility of their contracting vehicles. That feature and the no-fee structure have made ITES-2S a backup plan of sorts for agency contracting. CHESS officials hope ITES-3S will be even more effective in getting billions of dollars worth of contracting right. n CHESS acquisition vehicles at a glance By the time the Army announced the award of the five-year, $5 billion IT Enterprise Solutions-3 Hardware contract in February, ITES-2H had been extended four times, with more than $1 billion eventually added to its initial order ceiling. Originally, the goal was to make eight awards for ITES-3H (two more than for ITES-2H), with four each to large and small businesses. In the end, 17 companies received contracts, and eight went to small companies. The protests and drawn-out awards process reflect the importance the Army and industry place on the acquisition vehicle. Anticipation is also strong for the third generations of the Army Desktop and Mobile Computing (ADMC) and ITES-3 Services vehicles, but those awards are still at least a year away. Until then, here are the CHESS offerings that are available governmentwide. — FCW staff Additional information can be found at chess.army.mil. ITES-3H • IT hardware • 5 years, including options • Ceiling of $5 billion • 17 contracts, 8 small businesses • Available until February 2021 ITES-2S • IT services • 12 years, including options • Ceiling of $20 billion • 16 contracts, 2 small businesses • Available until April 2018 ADMC-2 • Desktop computers and mobile devices • 10 years, including options • Ceiling of $5.7 billion • 8 contracts, 3 small businesses • Available until October 2017 IT Solutions- Small Business • Small-business IT services • 5 years, including options • Ceiling of $400 million • 9 contracts, all small businesses • Available until April 2018 “We basically remind the contractors that if they sell products that are not in compliance, the government cannot use them. And that is definitely a bad mark against that company.” — DEIDRE HARRIS ARMY 0715fcw_022-024.indd 24 6/28/16 4:24 PM
June 30, 2016
July 30, 2016