Plans advance for DHS systems engineering R&D center

The Homeland Security Department plans to soon issue a solicitation that eventually could be worth up to $455 million for a contractor to establish and operate a research and development center dedicated to systems engineering and development, including  information technology systems.

The new federally funded research and development center would help DHS identify and implement best practices for technical systems engineering and acquisitions, and would be named the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (SEDI).

The SEDI would generally work on the most complex homeland security systems, according to a draft solicitation notice. In addition, the notice said the SEDI would provide program-level technical and integration expertise to DHS program managers that is not otherwise available.

The department estimated the effort would cost $455 million over five years, with the government allotting $60 million for the first year. The award would be for an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for a base year with four one-year option periods.

DHS first published a pre-solicitation notice that detailed its plans for the SEDI in April. The department then published a draft solicitation in September and a more recent version on Nov. 3. Comments on the current draft request for proposal are due by Nov. 6.

"Over time, [the SEDI] will help the department develop an integrated DHS system of systems engineering approach that will promote process efficiencies and synergies through best practices and standardized documentation,” the program’s draft request for proposal (RFP) reads.

DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate would be the contract's administrator and provide a SEDI program office to help develop strategies for reaching across the department to negotiate task orders for work at the center, the draft RFP says. That program office would also provide additional guidance and administrative support throughout the term of the contract.

DHS plans to issue the final solicitation on or before Nov. 10, the latest draft solicitation said. 

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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