Homeland Security revving up for acquisitions

ORLANDO, Fla.'The Homeland Security Department within the next month or so will begin issuing requests for information for systems and services it will need, speakers said today at the Information Processing Interagency Conference.

James Flyzik, the former Treasury Department CIO who served as an IT adviser to the department transition team, said HSD CIO Steve Cooper had passed along information about prospective RFIs so Flyzik could discuss them at the conference.

Flyzik, now a partner in the firm of Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates of Oak Hill, Va., also said the department's Science and Technology Directorate would carry out pilots of "things that are not ready for prime time today."

Among those technologies are methods of seeing through containers and detecting radiological, nuclear, biological and chemical threats, he said.

"The most exciting working group is the enterprise architecture' team, Flyzik said. The department wants to have 80 percent of its systems architecture in place by September, he said.

Flyzik suggested that the freeze on major systems buys by HSD component agencies is over. The Office of Management and Budget had halted IT buys last year while the White House settled plans for the new department.

HSD sent Coast Guard chief knowledge officer Nat Heiner to speak for Cooper, who stayed in Washington for the official opening of the department last Saturday.

Heiner said to expect some confusion about integrating the component agencies into their new organizations and how that will affect ongoing projects and contracts. Department officials are aware that contractors want more detailed contact information, he said.

"I can't tell you when that is going to happen," Heiner said, and added the department plans to set up a Web site for vendors.

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