February 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm #153857
DHS has kicked off the next phase of its virtual fence initiative along the U.S.-Mexico border with a statement about its upcoming Request for Proposals. Nextgov reports (2/21/2012) that DHS has notified vendors it is looking for activation-ready technology and would cancel the solicitation, rather than purchase technology that is deemed high-risk or not ready.
Instead, DHS intends to use this round of procurement to establish a baseline against which to evaluate future solicitations, which might require greater development.
"...if the Government concludes there are no offerors who provide adequate confidence in the non-developmental nature of their system, or no offerors who provide enough performance at reasonable cost, CBP will cancel the solicitation rather than procure an ineffective or high risk offering...
"...CBP has not forsaken technology development and improvement... But technology development is NOT an interest for the systems which are the subject of this solicitation. Instead, the IFT procurement, along with the other technology elements of our Arizona plan, will form the comprehensive technology baseline CBP will use to establish the requirements and relative values for future technology..."
For more information, check out the full Nextgov article here, which includes a link to the DHS notice.
What do you think about this two-part strategy? Is this a smart move or does it simply add an extra step to the procurement process?
February 22, 2012 at 1:27 am #153859
According to the revised CBP:
The Government has conducted extensive market research and has high confidence that there are currently existing, non-developmental systems that will warrant an eventual contract award under this solicitation. However, if the Government concludes there are no offerors who provide adequate confidence in the non-developmental nature of their system, or no offerors who provide enough performance at reasonable cost, CBP will cancel the solicitation rather than procure an ineffective or high risk offering.
So CBP claims to have done extensive market research, and is confident this can get done as a COTS purchase, or non-developmental item buy. They also claim a lessons learned was the systems engineering processes were obviously broken, so developmental items were a bust (at least that lesson learned got learned, to the tune of $1 Billion for 53 miles of broken coverage, skewed results, and unaccounted for costs).
I would love to hear from CBP officials on this alleged market research. Perhaps the Market Research Report could be made public, and provide industry an opportunity to comment, and help guide the acquisition strategy. CBP's current CONOPS looks like a roadmap for another boondoggle, but let's hope they cancel the solicitation instead of wasting more money on systems that don't work and requirements that have not been vetted.
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