Pentagon’s Advisory Group, JASON, Survives Another Competition

Despite government efforts to eliminate a decades long-standing program, known as JASON, which provides the Pentagon with scientific advisory support, the Defense Department confirmed in a Nov. 28 its plans to keep the program and issues a request for proposal this month. Bloomberg Government estimates the value of this contract at about $50 million.

The JASON group is an independent scientific advisory body that was established in 1960, according to the Federation of American Scientists. It consults with the U.S. government on matters of defense science and technology. The contract is for administrative and management support to the JASON program, which the government intends to solicit on or about December 13. The competition for this requirement will be confined to non-profits, not-for-profits, and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. A top secret facility clearance will be required, and the government may restrict the solicitation to those offerors who hold one.

The incumbent contract is held by The Mitre Corp. which was awarded in March 2014 and was scheduled to end in March of 2019. Mitre received $34.4 million in obligations for this work. As the contract was ending Mitre received a letter from the Department of Defense indicating that a solicitation for a new contract would not be forthcoming. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN) questioned the termination of this contract in a hearing in April of 2019. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2020, which became law in Dec. 2019, directed the Defense Department to continue to use JASON in an advisory capacity. An extension to the existing contract for up to $10.4 million was issued in Jan. 2020.

Together, the incumbent contract and extensions account for $46.2 million since fiscal 2014. Spending on the JASON program has maintained consistent levels averaging $6.6 million annually. The agencies funding the contract have shifted significantly. The Pentagon comprised of all the spending while it relied on the contract between fiscal 2014 through 2018. Since fiscal 2019, the predominant funding agency is the Energy Department.

The government is not accepting responses to this notice. Clients interested in the contract can click here to be notified when the final RFP is released.

To contact the analyst on this story: Robert Levinson in Washington, D.C. at rlevinson@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Snyder at dsnyder@bgov.com

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