The contracting activity sector in the Department of Homeland Security has 22 departments. Seven of which were intact at the start of the organization. There are 3 major oversight agencies in the department that perform quality control to ensure the integrity of the department. Ms. Correa noted that OPO’s mission is simple, they don’t take their or your business lightly and they only accept the best solutions. She also mentioned that she firmly believes in transparency and company debriefings.
On March 25, I attended the SECAF Executive Briefing meeting on the topic of procurement and took some notes. The premise of this roundtable was to educate business developers on procurement in homeland security and how the monies will be spent. Three panelists in procurement spoke their perspectives on the DHS EAGLE and EAGLE II SB contracts and the impact of the stimulus dollars and how they are preparing to spend the monies.
The keynote speaker, Soraya Correa, is the director of Office of Procurement Operations (OPO) at the Department of Homeland Security. One of the panelists, Robert Burton, a partner at Venable, LLP, is a nationally-recognized federal procurement expert, who focuses his practice on assisting government contractor navigate the complex and rule-driven procurement process. The other panelist, Dan Chenok, is the senior vice president of Pragmatics, Inc. Mr. Chenok leads business activity across much of the federal civilian agency landscape and heads the development and growth of horizontal capabilities across Pragmatics’ five divisions.
This year, the OPO budget will be $4.5B, of which 80% will go to government contracting. The majority of the budget will go to services contracting such as: IT services, program management, etc. In the federal government, $410B must be spent before September of this year. With these monies in mind, Ms. Correa suggested that the best way to acquire a contract with the federal government would be to first, think about what you can bring to the table. Secondly, sell your companies to the agencies that bests fit what your company offers. Thirdly, prepare a code of conduct (if you don’t already have one) and train you staff as well. Subsequently, invest in reporting significant activities such as fraud, overpayments, etc.
Mr. Burton mentioned that the federal government mandated all agencies to provide opportunities to small businesses. He also noted that 50% of the $410B previously mentioned will be specifically for ID/IQ contracts. It is mentioned in DELEX, that if 2 or more small businesses compete for the same contract, a contract vehicle will be set aside for those small businesses. Lastly, Mr. Chenok noted the best way to win federal government contracts is to bring innovation.
They shared multiple perspectives that I found very useful- and I also found some related links that could be beneficial as well.
Homeland Security Contracting Opportunities through FedBizOps
Forecast of Contracting Opportunities through FedBizOps
Program Management, Administration, Clerical, and Technical Services