07/27/2010 03:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The State Department Looks for Bliss

Hmm, what's the word I'm looking for; happiness, gladness, delight, joy, cheer, glee, rapture, elation, euphoria, ecstatic...? Wait, here it is, BLISS.

Okay, forgive me, but I can't pass up an opportunity to make a pun. Was it just me or did anybody else notice the July 9 letter to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who chairs the Subcommittee on Subcontracting Oversight of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, from Richard D. Verma, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

He was replying to her letter of June 16 regarding the State Department's request to the Pentagon for certain equipment and other assistance in Iraq, in order to continue its mission after the U.S. military drawdown.

In response to written questions she asked State to answer there was this felicitous passage:

5. If the State Department's request to use LOGCAP is denied, how does the Department plan to ensure that the next contract for life support services is as transparent, competitive, and accountable as possible?

Should the LOGCAP [Logistics Civil Augmentation Program] be unavailable, the Department will follow Federal Acquisition Regulation competitive procedures in any separate procurement action. Due to long-acquisition lead-time involved, the Department has already initiated action to develop a competitive solicitation for the base life support requirements should it be unable to remain under the LOGCAP program. This solicitation is referred to as the Baghdad Life Support Services acquisition, or BLISS contract. If necessary, the Department could issue a Request for Proposals for the BLISS contract in a very short time.