DHS piggybacks on Customs' efforts to build secure network

The Homeland Security Department later this year plans to begin building a network to transmit classified data across its agencies.

The department will issue a task order for the Homeland Secure Data Network under the General Services Administration's Millennia governmentwide acquisition contract, said James Flyzik, a partner in Guerra, Kiviat, Flyzik and Associates of Oak Hill, Va.

According to Input of Reston, Va., DHS' Border and Transportation Security Directorate 'has a requirement for secure, computer-to-computer connectivity among its intelligence components and field activities for the purpose of moving classified and selective law enforcement sensitive data.' The selected vendor will develop and run the network, Input said.

Likely bidders

The directorate's Customs and Border Protection Office of IT declined to release information about the HSDN project because it is 'in the middle of a procurement for this sensitive, mission-critical system,' a department spokeswoman said.

Computer Sciences Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, and SRA International Inc. of Fairfax, Va., are considered likely bidders.

The department early this month issued a request for proposals to vendors on the Millennia GWAC, asking for bids next month. DHS will invite bidders to make oral presentations late next month.

Flyzik said DHS' fiscal 2003 and 2004 budgets include money for HSDN.

According to Input, the procurement builds on work begun in the Customs Department as the Customs Secure Data Network project, an effort that began in October 2002.

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