IBM Pulls Out of Supercomputer Contract [PC Magazine] – IBM has pulled out of a multimillion-dollar contract with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to build a one-petaflop computer because the project requires more costs and technical support than the company originally expected. IBM is anticipated to return $30 million, which was granted by the National Science Foundation.
GAO: Acquisition planning must include cost estimates, best practices [Federal News Radio] – A Government Accountability Office report finds that NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services are not incorporating cost estimation and lessons learned as important parts of the planning process for service contracts. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says the report shows that planning for contracts is just as important as negotiating and managing them.
Debt Ceiling Deal Caps Discretionary Spending: What Does It Mean for Contractors? [INPUT Blog] – Deltek analyst Deniece Peterson’s look at the debt ceiling deal finds that the legislation does not call out specific programs, functions or budget categories to cut and that IT spending will not take a major hit. Her suggestions include revisiting the programmatic biases that emerged during the fiscal year 2011 appropriations debate and reducing prices without reducing value.
Entire U.S. Stealth Fighter Fleet Grounded [Danger Room] – DOD has no stealth fighters available as F-22 Raptors are grounded because of a possible faulty oxygen system and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) are grounded because of a valve problem in the plane’s integrated power package. The so-far $382 billion JSF program is slated to eventually account for 90 percent of America’s combat aviation power.
Pentagon Protected From ‘Open-Ended’ F-35 Overruns, Lynn Says [Bloomberg] – Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told the Senate Armed Services Committee in writing last month that DOD is protected from “open-ended” cost overruns on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet. He pointed out the Pentagon is “aggressively applying” an analysis of what the jets “should cost.”
Views From the Executive Suite: Beyond the Satellite [GovWin] – In this interview, Kay Sears, president of Intelsat General, says that her organization’s current priorities are to execute on the Commercial Broadband Satellite Program and its other current contracts, as well as discuss agencies’ 2012 communication needs. It is seeking partners with complementary technologies that can integrate into the network infrastructure and communications systems it is building for customers, especially firms involved with information assurance for secure networks.
How agencies can cut contracting costs [Federal Computer Week] – Steve Kelman, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, stresses that federal contracting personnel have a role to play in cutting procurement costs, which account for 40 percent of the discretionary federal budget. He suggests contests, share-in-savings contracting, reverse auctions and negotiating.
Navy submarine maker Electric Boat cuts Conn. jobs [AP] – After a review of its workforce requirements, General Dynamics division Electric Boat has decided to lay off 65 employees. The primary Navy submarine manufacturer is hiring hundreds of employees to quicken production of fast-attack submarines and design work for ballistic-missile vessels.
Zachary G. Warfield, company co-founder [Washington Post] – Former Central Intelligence Agency weapons analyst and co-founder of government contractor Omnis, Zachary G. Warfield, died on July 4 in Washington, D.C., at age 35. He fell off his boat while watching the Fourth of July fireworks, struck his head on the side of the boat and drowned in the Potomac River.
GovCon Travelogue: What do Presidential Carriages, Mail Trucks and Weasels have in Common? [GovWin] – GovWin community manager Elliot Volkman visited the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Ind. He finds that the company made carriages for presidents, horse-drawn Army ambulance carriages in World War I and the T24 Weasel all-terrain troop and cargo transport vehicle in World War II.
Today’s GovCon Cons
Charged: Louisiana contractor sued for back wages [New Orleans City Business/AP] – The Department of Labor is seeking to debar Peter R. Pocorello Construction for three years for not ensuring its subcontractors on federally-funded apartment-building contracts in New Orleans paid prevailing wage rates or overtime. Nearly $100,000 is owed to 105 employees.
Guilty Plea: Ex-Point Blank Chief to Plead to Tax Charges, Lawyer Says [Bloomberg] – David Brooks, founder and former CEO of body armor contractor Point Blank Solutions, will plead guilty to tax charges. He is seeking a new trial for his conviction on charges of committing a$185 million fraud and looting the company to pay for personal expenses.
Guilty Plea: Detroit postal worker accused of taking thousands in bribes from contractor strikes plea deal [Republic/AP] – Former U.S. Postal Service manager Jeffrey Adams will plead guilty to conspiracy after allegedly accepting bribes to steer mail vehicle repair contracts to Metro Diesel. The company, which is cooperating with investigators, has not been charged.
DOD Contract Announcements
Contract Announcements for August 9, 2011 [Defense.gov] – North Wind, Sullivan-Weston Services, Ayuda Management, HydroGeoLogic and OA Systems split a $49.5 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) multiple-award-task-order Army contract for environmental remediation services in support of various military and civil works projects within the southwest United States. Raytheon won an Army award of $8.9 million for research and development of high-definition focal plane arrays and a $7.9 million Navy modification for production of two fiscal 2011 Ship Self Defense System MK2 open architecture computing environment kits. See the full announcement for more details and other awards.
Federal Register Updates
Cost Accounting Standards: Elimination of the Exemption From Cost Accounting Standards for Contracts and Subcontracts Executed and Performed Entirely Outside the United States, Its Territories, and Possessions – The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Cost Accounting Standards Board published a final rule removing the Cost Accounting Standards exemption for contracts executed and performed entirely outside the United States, its territories, and possessions.
Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Organization and Direction of Work – DOD, NASA and the General Services Administration are asking the Office of Management and Budget to approve an extension of the information collection requirement concerning organization and direction of work. The comment period runs until October 11.
Energy Efficiency Design Standards for New Federal Commercial and Multi-Family High-Rise Residential Buildings and New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings – The Department of Energy is updating the baseline federal energy efficiency performance standards for the construction of new federal buildings to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1-2007 and the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
Call the Fashion MPs!
Project Run-a-Way: The Craziest Combat Outfits [Danger Room] – Danger Room highlights nine of the stranger-looking combat outfits around the world. Included are an Army suit with wearable electronics and sniper outfit meant to blend in with foliage.