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Homeland Security paces government IT deals

A $10 billion nod for a system to track foreigners easily outweighs other federal contracts in the second quarter, a study shows.

Information technology-related contracts awarded by the federal government jumped to over $23 billion in the second quarter of 2004.

That represents a 50 percent increase over the same period last year, according to a report released this week by Input, a provider of data on the government market. Federal government IT awards for the same period last year totaled $15.5 billion.

The upswing was fueled by a $10 billion contract for setting up the Visitor and Immigration Status Indication Technology System (US-Visit) for the Department of Homeland Security. The total worth of orders placed by the department alone was $10.7 billion, compared with $93 million for all IT-related contracts during the same period last year, the Reston, Va.-based market researcher said.

Five government departments--Homeland Security, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Department of Transportation--awarded nearly 90 percent of the contracts in the 2004 quarter, for a total of $21 billion. Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman tied for the most contract awards during the period.

Input said that "set-aside" awards to small businesses dropped by 20 percent. Fifteen government departments awarded $451 million in contracts to small businesses, compared with $562 million awarded in the same period last year. The Navy accounted for awards valued at $226 million in second quarter of 2004.