Firms Energized Over Billion-Dollar Deal

The Department of Energy has awarded a $1 billion information technology contract to Energy Enterprise Solutions L.L.C., a joint venture led by two African American contractors who are blazing their own procurement trail in the Washington, D.C., area.

The seven-year deal, believed to be one of the largest federal information technology contracts ever awarded to a small, black-owned business, is going to “Team DOE,” a partnership between EES and the Department of Energy workforce. EES is a joint venture between 1 Source Consulting Inc. in Seabrook, Maryland, and RS Information Systems Inc. of McLean, Virginia (No. 12 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/ SERVICE 100 list with $321 million in sales).

Under the contract, EES will perform services in more than 12 different areas, including cybersecurity, network engineering and operations, applications/Web design, capital planning, and strategic planning. EES is projecting revenues of $125 million this year.

“We look forward to working with EES to save the government money as well as to provide opportunities for small businesses in Maryland and across the country,” says Rocky Campione, senior policy adviser for the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Energy. “The government’s partnership with EES is expected to save American citizens more than $300 million over the life of the contract.”

While some minority contractors are simply facades for major corporations wanting to win big contracts from Uncle Sam, the force behind this deal is Rodney P. Hunt, the 45-year-old African American CEO of RSIS.

Today, RSIS has 1,800 employees across 45 states providing a range of services to the government, from supporting the National Weather Services radar system to designing cybersecurity systems for the Department of Homeland Security.

Hunt says he reached out to another company because he is dedicated to helping other minority firms win procurements with the government, and the DOE wanted small business participation. He chose 1 Source because it is “performing extremely well” and the company’s 40-year-old CEO, William Teel Jr., “is impressive.”

In the last three years, 1 Source has increased its work volume and number of contracts. In 2003 it had $2.7 million in contracts with the Department of Energy; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the Department of Education. In 2004, the company’s contracts swelled to $5.6 million when it added the Food and Drug Administration as a client. Last year, 1 Source grew to $11 million-plus in revenues.

Tony Robinson, president of the Minority Business Legal Defense and Education Fund, applauds the 1 Source deal. “We are seeing a steady decline in the number of opportunities for minority contractors because of the bundling of contracts,” says Robinson, whose organization is located in Largo, Maryland. “It is a matter of capacity. The smaller firms don’t have the infrastructure for these multibillion-dollar contracts. This is why we encourage collaborations, because small firms have a great deal of value that they bring to the table.”

“This was ground breaking, a small business our size becoming a first-tier company and firms like IBM, SAIC, and Booz Allen being second tier,” Teel