DISA, GSA Form Commercial Satcom Acquisition Partnership

[Satellite TODAY 08-07-09] The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have partnered to create a common marketplace for commercial satellite communication acquisitions, the agencies announced Aug. 6.
    The two agencies expect to spend more than $5 billion over 10 on commercial communications under the new approach that also is expected to save money for defense and civilian agencies as well as state, local and tribal governments.
    Lt. Gen. Carroll F. Pollett, director of DISA, and GSA Commissioner James Williams signed a memorandum of agreement July 28 to combine acquisition efforts.
“Why manage separate contract vehicles that offer essentially the same services when we can combine forces?” said Tony Montemarano, DISA’s component acquisition executive.
    In a press call, Bruce Bennett, director of satellite communications for DISA, said the agencies would replace the Defense Information Systems Network Satellite Transmission Services-Global (DSTS-G), Satcom 2 and Inmarsat contracts that expire in 2012. DISA and GSA have spent $350 million and $47 million on these contracts, respectively.
    “This partnership will provide one source for commercial vendors to come to in order to meet government and military demand. We expect this to result in 10 to 15 percent price drops for bulk bandwidth purchases,” said Bennett.

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