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Press Release | March 13, 2001

National Security Agency Embarks on Managed Competition for Non-Mission Information Technology

The National Security Agency (NSA) released the classified Request for Proposals (RFP) for Project GROUNDBREAKER on 2 March 2001 to three cleared industry contractor alliance teams. NSA will evaluate possible external sourcing options for four areas of non-mission information technology (IT) support. In June of 2000, Lt Gen Michael V. Hayden, Director, NSA, announced plans to pursue private sector performance (i.e., outsourcing), following the completion of a 15-month feasibility study.

NSA has recently instituted changes in its acquisition process, core business principles, and IT infrastructure to ensure that it has the agility and expertise to continue its long tradition of preserving national security for America and its allies. The GROUNDBREAKER RFPs, originally scheduled for a fall 2000 release, met delays following refinements under NSA's reformed acquisition strategy. Although the details of GROUNDBREAKER are classified, the project is a step toward improving and modernizing NSA's non-mission IT, by leveraging the expertise of industry IT sources.

Over the next few months, NSA will evaluate all offerors' proposals before determining whether to outsource NSA's non-mission IT support to a contractor. If the decision is made in late summer 2001 to award a contract, this government-industry partnership will reflect the best interest of national security, and one that is employee-friendly to the Agency's non-mission IT workforce.

Please reference NSA Press Release, dated 7 June 2000, "NSA to Pursue Government-Industry Partnership for Information Technology Infrastructure Services," at for a description of the scope of Project GROUNDBREAKER.