Pentagon awards biggest small-business contract ever

The Defense Department announced late last week that it has awarded the largest combined small business set-aside acquisition in the federal government's history. A group of three small and disadvantaged businesses signed contracts to provide global satellite transmission services for the Defense Information System Network (DISN). The Pentagon estimates the combined value of the contracts will total $2.2 billion. "This piece of satellite communications will help complete a very critical segment of the Global Information Grid by completing and enhancing existing DISN satellite, wireless, teleport and terrestrial network capabilities," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Defense has come under increasing criticism in recent years for contract bundling, a practice that entails rolling numerous contracts into a single solicitation. For example, the Air Force is combining virtually all maintenance work for weapons systems into six prime contracts worth an estimated total of $7.4 billion over seven years. Defense procurement officials say bundled contracts are less expensive to manage, but some small business owners have complained they prevent them from competing with large firms for multi-billion dollar deals. To quell some of that criticism, Air Force officials have said that two of the six contracts will be awarded to small businesses or joint ventures in which a group of small businesses bids as a unit. Asked whether last week's contract award was a response to the concerns of small business owners, a DISA spokesperson said the agency "has had a long-term desire to meet the efforts of the small business goals. [This] award emphasizes our commitment in support of" those goals. The three firms that won the DISN contract-Artel Inc. of Reston, Va., Spacelink International LLC of Dulles, Va., and Arrowhead Space and Telecommunications Inc. of Falls Church, Va.-were awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quality contracts, each for a base period of three years with seven one-year options. No funds will be immediately obligated under the contracts.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.