DHS seeks industry financing help

The Homeland Security Department wants industry to help it find and use creative alternative financing options to increase its ability to buy and implement technology, said Elaine Duke, DHS' chief procurement officer.

Speaking at Federal Sources’ annual Federal Outlook Conference today, Duke said DHS will consider alternatives such as purchasing information technology as a service to speed distribution and reduce costs.

"We do have a lot of restraints on funding," she said. "On the other side, we need a huge deployment of technology as soon as possible."

Companies interested in cultivating DHS as a market should find some hints in that, she added.

"Industry is always looking for a competitive edge," she said. "This is one way, [you can show us] how you can help us [fulfill] our mission faster."

DHS also wants to use more pay-for-performance incentives, starting with lower base fees, she said.

Another DHS priority is developing interoperable communications with state and local jurisdictions, and the department will be open to business proposals in that realm, she said.

"We're really beginning to explore" that issue, based on the experience of Hurricane Katrina.

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