DOE awards $4 billion support services contract

A new contractor will head up support services at the Hanford site, replacing Mission Support Alliance for the $4 billion contract paid out over five years.

The contract went to Hanford Mission Integration Solutions of Richland, a company owned by Leidos Intergrated Technology, Centerra Group and Parsons Government Services. The first two companies also are owners of MSA, the company that held the Richland site contract for the last decade.

“We look forward to helping the DOE accelerate the Hanford cleanup mission and produce cumulative cost savings,” Leidos said in a statement.

Centerra and Parsons did not respond to requests for comment.

Once called the Mission Support Contract, the new agreement also includes a new name, the Hanford Mission Essential Services Contract, or HMESC. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management said the title change for this contract and others was made to reflect a difference in how work is viewed at the site.

The HMESC covers all support services, including security and emergency services, plus all infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, which includes road and utility work. Additionally, the contract supports land management, information technology services, management of the HAMMER Federal Training Center and construction of infrastructure that would support the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, known as the vit plant.

In its solicitation for bids, the Department of Energy said the new contract would include a “new concept” to help DOE solicit and execute contracts with small businesses, described as “meaningful work” at the site.

The HMESC includes an option for five additional years beyond the initial five-year term. The potential extensions are broken up into a three-year option and two-year option after the first period is completed. The $4 billion payout covers the base period, plus a 120-day transition period for MSA to depart.

The DOE did not have an official transition date for when Hanford Mission Integration Solutions would take over and Mission Support Alliance’s term would finish.

“When we give HMIS a notice to proceed (usually takes a minimum of two weeks), HMIS and MSA will start a four-month transition period, during which they work together to transition the work, procedures, equipment, facilities, workforce, etc. After that transition period, HMIS would be the sole contractor providing mission support services,” said Geoff Tyree, spokesman for the Department of Energy.

DOE said the contract was awarded after reviewing three offers. It is considered a cost-plus-award-fee contract which includes cost reimbursement and line items of indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity, or IDIQ.

It was initially expected the contract would be awarded by late summer following a May 2019 expiration for the current contract held by MSA since 2009. A six-month extension was granted, which took the company through November 2019 before the announcement in early December 2019.

MSA employs about 1,700 workers with roughly 500 performing skilled trades workers, including welders, pipe fitters and electricians. Another 500 employees are part of professional support. Traditionally, most employees are kept on with a new contractor, but MSA set up a transition page online to handle employee concerns.

The DOE said the contract provides “the opportunity to continue its strong focus on infrastructure to ensure its reliability and continuity during critical waste management and environmental cleanup efforts.” The bar is high, as DOE expects Mission Support Integration Solutions to undertake infrastructure upgrades over the upcoming contract length, including supporting the startup of the vit plant, as well as maintaining site infrastructure “to support the next 50 years of operations and cleanup.”

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