DHS, FBI initiate plans for major IT buys

The Homeland Security Department and the FBI have launched major procurement projects for IT support services and a case-management system, respectively.

DHS announced this afternoon that it would begin two new programs for IT acquisition. The IT support services effort is called Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge solutions, or Eagle, and the program for acquiring IT commodities is called First Source.

'These programs, when fully in place, will satisfy the vast majority of DHS information task requirements,' Scott Charbo, DHS CIO, said in a statement. 'The programs are designed to meet the goal of one IT infrastructure and will run out of the Enterprise Solutions Office, a joint program office under the IT Acquisition Center.'

The department's chief procurement officer, Greg Rothwell, said in a recent interview that the acquisition project now called First Source would allow for decentralized ordering. DHS' CIO council approved the two acquisitions, he added.

Rothwell indicated that the services contracts through Eagle could provide both managed services and systems integration. He suggested that Eagle could resemble the Treasury Department's Total Information Processing Support Services project for providing IT.

DHS is running the projects under the Federal Acquisition Regulation and expects to issue two requests for proposal relating to them over the next few weeks. The projects will result in several contracts to both large and small businesses, DHS said.

Department officials will hold a briefing about the two acquisition projects at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington on Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Separately, the FBI announced yesterday that it had released its solicitation for proposals for the Sentinel project to build the bureau's next-generation IT system.

The FBI is using the National Institutes of Health's governmentwide contracting vehicle to choose a Sentinel contractor or contracting team.

Sentinel is designed to replace the bureau's obsolete Automated Case System, as well as the failed Virtual Case File system, which cost the FBI $110 million.

FBI CIO Zalmai Azmi has pointedly declined to specify a cost range for Sentinel on the grounds that doing so would impair the bureau's effort to negotiate a good price.

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