DHS puts off SPIRIT

The Homeland Security Department's far-ranging, multibillion-dollar information technology services contract was temporarily suspended while officials reassess the project.

The final Request for Proposals for the Security, Planning and Integrated Resources for Information Technology (SPIRIT) program will be not be released May 18, according to a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site last week. It's unclear when it will be issued. The notice also said it will not accept phone inquiries, e-mails or face-to-face meetings during this time.

SPIRIT was originally the Coast Guard Information Technology Services Solution, but expanded in January 2003 for DHS-wide use and renamed. The RFP — originally $10 billion over 10 years — was reduced to $5 billion over five years and the RFP was delayed at least once. The contract would have been open only to DHS agencies.

The contract would include virtually all IT services divided into four functional areas, including:

Information management analysis and planning support services.

Information systems engineering and design support services.

Information systems operations and management support services.

Information system security support services.

DHS officials would have awarded multiple contracts to companies — including small businesses, disadvantaged and historically underutilized businesses — within each functional area for a maximum of 64 total awards. Companies would have then had to compete for task orders within their designated functional area and tier.

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