DHS Moves to Consolidate IT Procurement Processes

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is centralizing its procurement processes for IT support services into a massive contracting program that could make up to $45 billion worth of purchases over the next decade.

The DHS on Sept. 29 issued a request for proposals to vendors on the program, which is called EAGLE, or the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions. Further details about EAGLE, which was announced in August, are expected to be disclosed at two "preproposal" sessions that the DHS will hold for interested bidders on Oct. 18 in Washington. Bids for the initial EAGLE contracts are due by Oct. 31.

Marcus Fedeli, an analyst at Input Inc. in Reston, Va., said that consolidating the sprawling agency's IT services contracts into a single program should make it easier for vendors to bid on deals.

Savings Plan

Fedeli also expects that the changes will enable the DHS to attract smaller vendors that might have been reluctant to bid on contracts before. And the new program should help the agency "get some cost savings," he said. Fedeli estimated that the DHS could award up to $4.5 billion worth of contracts under EAGLE during the government's 2006 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1

DHS spokesman Larry Orluskie declined to confirm Fedeli's estimate but noted that most of the planned contracts will be multiyear deals.

In a synopsis posted on its Web site, the DHS said EAGLE is designed to provide an integrated approach for buying IT support services, which are now acquired through "a disparate collection of methods."

In conjunction with EAGLE, the DHS is also launching a $3 billion contracting program called FirstSource for buying commodity IT equipment. The list of goods that can be bought through FirstSource includes IT systems, software, networking equipment and wireless technology.

FirstSource bids must come from companies with 150 employees or fewer. As part of EAGLE, the DHS will also set aside some contracts for smaller firms and ask large companies to subcontract as much as 40% of their work to small businesses.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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