DHS puts procurement info online

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"Eye on newsmakers"

The Homeland Security Department plans to unveil a one-stop shop Web site March 8 where businesses can access information about procurement.

The site will be under chief procurement officer Greg Rothwell's office and managed by Kevin Boshears, who directs the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Not only will there be a Web site, but also a 1-800 telephone number, a dedicated e-mail address and a brochure to help companies more easily navigate their way through DHS, said Rothwell, who mentioned the site in several addresses to the business community last week.

The site currently is called "The Marketplace," but that may be rebranded to "DHS Open for Business," Rothwell said today at a breakfast briefing sponsored by Input, a research analysis firm.

The site will include information on small business procurement assistance, grants, research and development, the Safety Act and other programs. Rothwell said DHS officials are also looking for critique from the business community on how the Marketplace could be improved.

Rothwell, who moved to DHS from the Internal Revenue Service seven months ago, said working at DHS has been a challenge. When the new department was formed a year ago, its 22 component agencies brought along seven procurement shops, Rothwell said. He formed an eighth to help support the chief information officer's office, the Science and Technology Directorate, the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division and several others that weren't part of those seven shops.

Since then, DHS has also developed a mentor-protégé program that now has five partnerships, a small business office and other programs that try to attract new technologies from companies that might not otherwise do business with the federal government.

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