2015 Rising Star Awards

Akosua Ali

Management program analyst and contracting officer's representative, Department of Homeland Security

2015 Rising Star Awards

Akosua Ali is unusually good at making sense of complicated, sometimes disjointed environments. As a management program analyst and contracting officer's representative at the Department of Homeland Security, she ironed out complex acquisition issues and found millions in unused funds.

She led multiple IT contract reconciliation projects that involved analyzing complex financial reports, researching contract actions in DHS' PRISM financial system and meeting weekly with all stakeholders. She meticulously analyzed funds left over from previous years for the CIO office's largest IT services and support contracts and worked with vendors to find unused money that could be made available for other procurements or turned over to the Treasury Department. Her efforts uncovered more than $15 million that might otherwise have been lost. 

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

2015 Rising Star Awards
Click here for profiles of all the 2015 winners.

Her superiors said Ali has improved the process for administering IT services and support funds at DHS. Beyond tracking down unused money, she developed training on invoice processing, and established best practices and standard operating procedures to help contracting officer's representatives in the IT Services Office manage a wide range of operations -- including invoice payments, reports on how quickly contract dollars are being spent and the funding execution of more than 180 contracts totaling more than $700 million.

Ali's training, best practices and programmatic support have resulted in a 70 percent increase in the accuracy of ITSO's fiscal 2015 IT services contract funding and enhanced the monitoring and analysis of contract spending rates.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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