NIH lays out up to $20B in IT spending over coming decade

With the U.S. National Institutes of Health's (NIH) current IT procurement contract ending in November, the agency has laid out its successor: a 10-year contract for laptops, servers and other equipment and services worth up to $20 billion. 

Nextgov reported on the contract, which NIH posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website. The contract covers IT needs across the federal government, but NIH and its parent--the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--are the primary focus. Setting up the procurement deal--known as a government-wide acquisition contract--will allow NIH to buy certain products for preagreed prices instead of seeking competitive bids for each order. 

NIH is looking to negotiate prices for a range of commonly used IT items, such as laptops with Intel i5 processors for its basic users and more powerful or rugged versions for staff with specialized requirements. While the list of laptops just details the specifications NIH wants, the agency singles out individual models of mobile phones it plans to procure. Apple's ($AAPL) iPhone 5 and BlackBerry's ($BBRY) Q10 are the agency's phones of choice.  

Specialized healthcare equipment and systems are also part of the contract, with NIH looking to strike deals with suppliers of natural language processing tools and medical monitors. The contract is capped at $20 billion, but it is unclear how much NIH will actually spend over the course of the 10-year period. Companies interested in supplying NIH with equipment have until June 11 to respond to its proposal.   

- read the Nextgov article
- and NIH proposal