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GSA, DOD Partnership to Protect Sensitive Data

Saves Government Millions of Dollars

GSA # 10450

February 12, 2008  
Contact:  Dirk Fillpot, (202) 501-1231
dirk.fillpot@gsa.gov   
 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense (DOD) announced today that collaborative efforts to provide federal, state and local agencies with the latest Data-At-Rest (DAR) encryption technology at reduced prices have yielded approximately $58 million in savings through avoided
costs to the government.

DAR encryption products protect sensitive unclassified data on mobile computing devices and removable storage media.

The Data At Rest Tiger Team (DARTT), a multi-agency task force in partnership with the DOD Enterprise Software Initiative (DOD ESI) and GSA SmartBUY, analyzed sales reports from July through December 2007 to evaluate DAR encryption products purchased by state, local and federal government agencies from qualified vendors using DOD/GSA-sponsored blanket purchase agreements (BPAs). DARTT’s analysis showed that, cumulatively, the BPAs enabled these government organizations
to purchase $73 million in DAR products for only $15 million.

“Protecting data-at-rest has become increasingly critical in today’s information technology environment of highly mobile data and decreasing device size,” said John Johnson, assistant commissioner for integrated technology services in the Federal Acquisition Service of GSA. “Personal identity information or sensitive government information stored on devices such as laptops, thumb drives and PDAs is often unaccounted for and unprotected, and that can pose a problem if these devices are compromised.”
 
“The DARTT process is a powerful tool to attain interagency consensus in achieving OMB-directed security goals,” Johnson said. “GSA SmartBUY is moving forward to establish competitively awarded BPAs for compliance with the federal desktop core configuration and security content automation protocol that will bring significant value to the government at large.”

As part of an initiative that began in June 2007, the DARTT employed a highly collaborative acquisition process using Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 8, Required Sources of Supplies and Services, to competitively award multiple BPAs for use by federal, state, local and tribal governments and NATO. The team was able to achieve a consensus on stringent technical requirements and received support from the U.S. Air Force’s 754th Electronic Systems Group at Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., the acquisition arm of DOD ESI. The DARTT enables the acquisition of information assurance and computer network defense technologies at deep discounts by leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government.

“This is an innovative and exciting process,” said David Wennergren, DOD deputy chief information officer. “I am extremely pleased that this historic effort is already showing results that far exceed our initial expectations."

Robert Lentz, deputy assistant secretary of defense for information and identity assurance, underscored the significance and impact of this achievement. “The American public and government employees expect us to do all we can to protect personally identifiable information (PII) data on laptops and removable media,” he said. “The success of the DARTT represents an important step toward achieving this critical requirement and ensuring that PII is protected at all levels of the government. This acquisition is also a key part of our information assurance transformation strategy to strive for enterprise solutions across government.”

Government agencies that have taken advantage of government-wide BPAs to purchase DAR products include the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Commerce, Defense Logistics Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Transportation Security Administration, US Army, government contractors, and a multi-state consortium led by the State of New York. Through the
GSA Cooperative Purchasing Program, numerous state and local government agencies from Ohio, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, Florida, and Connecticut have purchased products from the BPAs—a first in government, according to GSA.

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Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government.  GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles.  GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know?   FAS annual business volume of $46 billion accounts for more than one-seventh of the entire federal procurement budget.  FAS manages acquisition programs that include information technology, telecommunications, furniture, tools, office products and supply items, and all travel, motor vehicles and credit card services.


Data at Rest