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Big Military IT Contract May Go to Several Bidders

Germany's largest ever public-private contract, worth €6.6 billion ($8.3 billion), to update military computers and communications may be split among several bidders, according to German lawmakers. The contract was initially awarded to the ISIC21 consortium but that agreement has faltered as the government has demanded more services than were laid out during the tender in 2001. The changes, for which the government would pay an additional €650 million ($820 million), could force ISIC21 to share the work and allow Deutsche Telekom AG and Siemens AG to gain a stake. The two companies had lost out in initial bidding. The government wants to avoid delays that a new tender for the revamped contract would entail. In 2002, the government said it wanted to seal a contract with a bidder by the end of 2003. The project, called "Herkules," aims to modernize the military's telephone network and computer centers and services over the next 10 years.