DHS regroups on SPIRIT

SPIRIT notifications at Federal Business Opportunities Web site

Homeland Security Department officials have decided to reassess their proposed five-year, $5 billion information technology services program, delaying the release of the final request for proposals for at least another month.

The sudden postponement frustrated technology company officials, many of whom have been waiting at least a year to bid on the proposed contract.

The Security, Planning and Integrated Resources for Information Technology (SPIRIT) program, which would cover nearly all IT services for DHS, was scheduled to be released this week. But department officials said the process needs to be re-examined to ensure "that industry is able to apply in the best way possible," said Valerie Smith, a DHS spokeswoman.

"The department is going to conduct an independent assessment of the acquisition in order to find a process that is advantageous to both government and industry," she said. "We hope to have results in 30 to 45 days of that assessment but may take some additional time to reach a final decision."

Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president of consulting at Federal Sources Inc., a Vienna, Va., market research firm, said he's talked with industry members who have speculated there might have been a rebellion among the DHS agency chief information officers.

"They're saying, 'Look, if you can't give me the support for the contractors who are doing such a good job for me right now,

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