U.S. Department of State and the Kindle
Back in June we posted several items about the State Dept. wanting to buy a bunch of Kindle devices (plus support and content) from Amazon.com for what appeared to be a “mobile learning initiative.” The intention was for a sole source contract. A few days later the folks at State announced an event in DC where Secretary of State Clinton and Jeff Bezos would launch the program. Then, just a few days later, the event was cancelled. Laura Hazard Owen at paidContent reported on the change in plans.
The National Federation of the Blind filed a complaint with the State Department saying that any agreement to purchase devices that are inaccessible to the blind is a violation of the law, but it is unclear whether the complaint had any bearing on the deal’s failure
More about the National Fed. of the Blind Complaint
Late yesterday, we learned (via FBO.gov) that the entire program to purchase the Kindle devices is officially withdrawn and cancelled. State wants to conduct “additional market research and re-examine its requirements for this program.”
Here’s the Complete Announcement:
U.S. Department of State solicitation (Request for Proposals) SAQMMA12R0272 for Amazon e-Readers, Content Management, and Logistics is cancelled and the Justification and Approval (J&A) to award contract SAQMMA12D0131 on a sole-source basis is withdrawn. The Department of State intends to conduct additional market research and re-examine its requirements for this program.
E-Books at the Joint Base Andrews Library
Meanwhile, over at the Joint Base Andrews Library (known to many as Andrews Air Force Base, home of Air Force One), we’ve learned that the INTENT to sole source a contract for access to Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 e-book platform has been issued.
Those who feel differently about sole sourcing the contract have a week to share their views with those in charge.
Here’s the Official Language:
The 11th Contracting Squadron at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland intends to award a simplified acquisition on a sole source basis to Baker & Taylor Inc, for access to their exclusive Axis 360 E-Book Platform for use by the Base Library on Joint Base Andrews.