DHS Spirit procurement fades away

The Homeland Security Department has cancelled the $5 billion Security, Planning and Integrated Resources for Information Technology program for a broad range of IT services.

The department earlier had withdrawn the Spirit procurement to re-evaluate its broad range, which required vendors to submit dozens of proposals for almost every type of IT service See GCN story.] The Coast Guard had been the lead agency for the Spirit acquisition.

For the time being, DHS will rely on existing governmentwide contracting vehicles for IT, DHS spokeswoman Valerie Smith said.

Development of Spirit had started while the Coast Guard was still a Transportation Department agency, Smith said, and 'some of the features of Spirit's approach were more suited for DOT's environment than that of DHS. With the integration of the 22 agencies into DHS, we are looking at the overall picture of their needs.'

Smith said CIO Steve Cooper and chief procurement officer Greg Rothwell requested that DHS hold on to the acquisition for the last few months while they looked at overall DHS needs. 'We worked with the Coast Guard to make a mutual decision' to end the project, she said.

DHS will issue many IT contracts in fiscal 2005 and is well on its way to developing an acquisition strategy that will fit the general IT needs of the department, Smith said.

IT procurement consultants had predicted Spirit was likely to die see GCN story.]. Senior DHS officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, earlier had expressed regret that the project did not come to fruition.


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