DHS IT procurement now marches in step

$45 billion Eagle contract award to consolidate IT services purchasing

The gears of IT procurement at the Homeland Security Department appear set at last to mesh with the vision of consolidated operations. DHS last week launched a series of IT contracts under the Eagle project that are set to cover most of its technology service needs and could reach a cap of $45 billion over at least five years.

The department has notified 25 winning bidders in the 'unrestricted track' part of the Eagle IT acquisition project, which was open to large businesses, that they would be able to seek work via task orders issued under the procurement as of last week.

DHS has pledged to issue comparable contracts to small-business bidders around July 31, the department said when it announced the large business winners.

The contract's full name is Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions.

A department spokesman said DHS would announce the winners of the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts on June 29.

But companies in the homeland security IT market were abuzz with news of the new contracts, which pave a path to bid on as much as three-quarters of the department's total annual technology spending of about $6 billion. The initial contracts run for a period of five years and may be renewed. Total spending under the project could reach a cap of $45 billion.

The Eagle contracts would achieve a goal DHS has sought for years: consolidating as much of its IT purchasing as possible. DHS has tried twice before, with the scuttled Spirit acquisition project and another, less defined procurement plan shaped by former CIO Steve Cooper.

However, the Eagle contract awards did not meet with approval in all quarters.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said in a statement, 'The extremely large amount of money involved with these contracts, partnered with lack of oversight and general quality control, is a prescription for more waste, fraud and abuse.' Thompson is the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.
DHS made the awards in five categories:
  • 1. Infrastructure engineering design, development, implementation and integration

  • 2. Operations and maintenance

  • 3. Independent test, validation, verification and evaluation

  • 4. Software development

  • 5. Management support services.

Vendor executives noted that a typical project task order might cross two or more categories.

The department specified that contract holders could bid not only on all task orders within the categories that they won, but also potentially on task orders that crossed more than one category.

DHS made 25 contract awards to large companies. The awards are spread across the five categories mentioned above.

If DHS had chosen a significantly larger number of vendors for the contracts in each category, each winner would have received 'a meaningless schedule contract,' in the words of one market source.
Companies that won contracts, and in which categories, are:
  • Accenture Ltd. (categories 4 and 5)

  • AT&T Government Solutions (category 1)

  • BAE Systems North America Inc. (category 3)

  • BearingPoint Inc. (category 3)

  • Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (categories 4 and 5)

  • CACI International Inc. (category 5)

  • Computer Sciences Corp. (categories 1, 2, 4 and 5)

  • Dymanics Research Corp. (category 5)

  • EDS Corp. (categories 1, 2 and 4)

  • General Dynamics Corp. (categories 1, 2, 4 and 5)

  • IBM Corp. (categories 4 and 5)

  • Keane Federal Systems (category 3)

  • Lockheed Martin Corp. (categories 1, 2 and 4)

  • McDonald Bradley (category 3)

  • Northrop Grumman Corp. (categories 1, 2, 4 and 5)

  • Nortel PEC Solutions (category 5)v
  • Perot Systems (category 4)

  • Pinketon Computer Consultants (category 5)

  • Pragmatics (category 3)

  • QSS Group Inc. (categories 1 and 4)

  • Raytheon Science Application International Corp. (categories 1, 4 and 5)

  • Science Applications International Inc. (categories 1, 2, 4 and 5)

  • SRA International Inc.(category 3)

  • Unisys Corp. (category 1 and 2)

Industry sources noted that the complete list of Eagle contract winners included virtually all the major systems integrators active in the homeland security market.
The department issued its request for proposals under Eagle late last September and said it had received a strong response. Industry sources said DHS received hundreds of proposals.

The department delayed the contract awards until late June from a previously expected March date, in order to have time to review all the proposals. n

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