Safecom requirements released

Safecom statement of requirements

The Homeland Security Department today released the statement of requirements for the national Safecom wireless interoperability program, for public safety officials across the country.

The program is more that two years old, but this is the first time officials have been able to release a comprehensive look at what public safety organizations at all levels of government consider their top technical and policy priorities for information sharing. More than 50,000 agencies were involved in developing the document, with much of the discussion organized through the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.

The requirements will be the basis of the Safecom program office's work going forward, including a number of solicitations for information and solutions from industry, which can use the requirements as the basis for research and development.

"The statement of requirements is a critical document that will provide first responders with the architectural framework for future interoperable public safety communications," David Boyd, director of Safecom within DHS' Science and Technology Directorate, said in a statement. "As we proceed, the needs of the user community will help drive the development of various communications products that allow the nation to begin to reach a functional level of interoperability."

Overseers have criticized the Safecom program in the past for its slow progress, including a General Accounting Office report issued earlier this month that cited the need for detailed agreements among all involved.

However, GAO officials also highlighted that the DHS-led program office has made greater progress and formed better partnerships than any of the past leaders of the program.

Safecom officials have at least one solicitation for interoperability solutions already lined up to be based on the requirements. The broad agency announcement should result in the award of two to four contracts this summer, using up to $6 million that the department has set aside for the initiative, said Thomas Coty, director of technical solutions for Safecom, last month.

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