Under Contract

• The Labor Department awarded five contracts “to provide various economic and statistical studies related to employer provided benefit plans” that will be worth no more than $20 million overall. Among other topics, the research hopes to look at “analyzing the nation’s policy challenges in the areas of retirement security and health care finances.” The Urban Institute, the Actuarial Research Corp., the Rand Corp., Maryn Consulting and Advanced Analytical Consulting Group each won a contract.

• A task force within the Defense Department is investing nearly $1.6 million to “help promote Afghan carpets, cashmere and jewelry” at “strategically selected industry trade shows around the world,” including London Fashion Week. The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, established in 2006 to increase economic development the Middle East after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is running the program. The contractor, public relations firm Bell Pottinger, will help in the trade shows. All task force activities will end by September.

• The Department of Agriculture is spending almost $32,000 on 21 dog collars equipped with GPS. The department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Utah is completing a study on livestock guardian dogs that protect sheep or cattle from predators. The collars must transmit data “every day for six hours” beginning at 2 p.m. Telonics, a company that manufactures products for environmental research, won the contract.

• The State Department awarded Stanley Associates, a subsidiary of CGI Federal, a task order worth up to $10.9 million to provide a global support strategy for visa services to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Work will include setting up “information services, appointment services, fee collection services, document delivery services, and greeter services.” It is part of a larger contract with the company, which has been helping the State Department set up these services around the world. 

C.H.K. Manufacturing is providing the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency with empty woven polypropylene bags to be used in U.S. international food aid programs. The approximately 110 pounds of bags will cost more than $132,500. The products will be used in Afghanistan. 

Contract information compiled from General Services Administration data and government press releases. Send announcements about government contracts to mwilson@thehill.com.