OSD places $6.5m ASY task up for bid

WASHINGTON: The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has issued a pre-solicitation notice for PR and marketing work valued at as much as $6.5 million for the controversial America Supports You (ASY) program.

WASHINGTON: The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has issued a pre-solicitation notice for PR and marketing work valued at as much as $6.5 million for the controversial America Supports You (ASY) program.

PR work for ASY, which the Pentagon created in 2004 to organize pro-military "support" groups, has been handled by Susan Davis International to date.

The ASY program sparked a still-ongoing investigation by the DoD's inspector general's office last year when it was discovered that the Pentagon-funded, but independent military newspaper Stars & Stripes had been used as a contracting vehicle to fund ASY.

OSD head of public affairs Allison Barber told PRWeek in early December that, while the use of Stars & Stripes as a vehicle for funding ASY might have created the appearance of conflict for the paper, none of its actual budget went toward ASY. Still, a new contracting authority has been created to issue the funding, she said.

The RFP for the new one-year contract, which will have four one-year renewal options, is expected to be issued on February 13, with proposals due March 6. Date of the award is set for March 25 with actual work to begin on May 1.

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