Acquisition plan coming for DHS

The Homeland Security Department will soon reveal its new acquisition strategy, high-ranking department officials said this week.

The plan should be ready in a few weeks, said Scott Hastings, chief information officer for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, which tracks foreign nationals entering and exiting the country. Charlie Armstrong, CIO for the department’s Customs and Border Protection division and the department’s acting resource director, confirmed that the acquisition plan was forthcoming.

Both men declined to give many details but said that key officials -- including the department’s CIO, chief financial officer and chief procurement officer -- are reviewing the document.

DHS is looking for major acquisitions that can be used departmentwide, not only for one program, Hastings said.

By linking programs that perform common functions, such as screening travelers going in and out of the country, the department aims to operate more effectively and efficiently, he said.

"We are very close to assuming that the new leadership endorses the idea that we should consolidate infrastructure," Hastings said. "I can't imagine that they won’t."

He said the new plan will also encourage competition among vendors that work with the department.

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