Last week, NASA awarded a $485 million contract to Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) to manage NASA’s enterprise applications development. Specifically, the contract means SAIC will be responsible for running the NASA Enterprise Applications Competency Center (NEACC).
FedScoop reported that the main goal of the eight-year contract is to make NASA’s technology operations more efficient. Additionally, the NEACC could become the main hub for the development of mobile applications within NASA.
Streamlining Technology Development
The contract, officially known as Enterprise Applications Service Technologies (EAST) 2, will be administered by the NASA Shared Services Center at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, in Mississippi. SAIC “will provide services to operate, maintain, and enhance key business and mission-supporting platforms, applications and infrastructure used across the agency.”
“We are honored to have been selected by NASA to continue to deliver these mission-critical services to the NEACC. This award is a testament to the excellent work performed by our team and builds upon our extensive history supporting NASA," Bob Genter, SAIC senior vice president and general manager of the Federal Civilian Customer Group, said in a statement. "We are proud to support an agency that inspires our nation as pioneers for the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research."
Patrick Whelan, the contracting officer for the award, told FedScop that the contract is designed to streamline NASA’s technology operations, in line with an executive order President Barack Obama issued in 2011, which directed federal agencies to more efficiently deliver services.
NASA has 10 centers, and each dedicates resources to creating applications for internal use, FedScoop reported. That means NASA has around 100 to 125 different mobile applications, Whelan said.
However, if the new contract proves successful, the NEACC, based at the Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala., will serve as the main source of application development. The goal is to have the NEACC reduce the number of apps NASA creates and manages by finding redundancies.
Getting the Contract off the Ground
Whelan acknowledged the reduction in the number of apps NASA creates won’t happen immediately, because the CIOs of the different space centers need to get on board. However, Whelan told FedScoop that NASA CIO Renee Wynn supports the plan.
The contract’s period of performance kicks off on Feb. 1 and will truly get going in April; the contract has the potential to run through March 31, 2024.
Whelan told FedScoop that he and his colleagues identified and assessed over the past two years the technology needs and priorities of NASA’s headquarters as well as the space centers and the agency’s business units.