Department will spend $10b on IT support buy

The Homeland Security Department plans to award 32 contracts under a $10 billion umbrella program to cover almost every imaginable IT service need within DHS.

The department is fine-tuning its solicitation, which builds on a similar effort already begun by the Coast Guard, and expects to issue a final request for proposals in November. Homeland Security officials want to award the contracts in April.

Known as SPIRIT, the Security Planning and Integrated Resources for Information Technology project will sort IT needs into four categories:
  • Information management analysis and planning

  • Systems engineering and design

  • Operations and management

  • Security
.
Under each of the four categories, DHS will specify more than a dozen subcategories, ranging from CIO support and software development to seat management and hardware maintenance.

In its planning documents, DHS described SPIRIT as a 'flexible, dynamic and comprehensive acquisition tool that can accommodate the full gamut of IT support service needs.'

Team SPIRIT

Although the SPIRIT contracts will be indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity deals, they will allow all types of task order and pricing arrangements based on the individual purchase by DHS agencies, the department said.

Despite the plan to put in place IDIQ deals with a ceiling of $10 billion, there's no promise that the money will be there for the DHS agencies to buy services, industry officials said.

One official said that although funds for fiscal 2003 and 2004 are mostly allocated, 'when you look at 2005 and farther out, the funds do become available.'

'You don't merge the IT activities of 22 agencies and 160,000 employees overnight,' the official said. 'You need to identify the holes in the enterprise architecture and fill them.'

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