DHS wants to shift to agile in a FLASH

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The Department of Homeland Security is eager to talk with potential vendors about what the agency is hoping to accomplish with agile development.

The agency is lining up a contract vehicle, dubbed Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland (FLASH), to provide DHS headquarters and component agencies with agile design and development support services. The anticipated agency-wide vehicle will include concepts from the U.S. Digital Services Playbook such as user-centered design, dev-ops, automated testing and agile.

At a recent industry event, DHS CIO Luke McCormack said FLASH could become a significant building block for the agency's acquisition efforts and that he was working closely with top-level colleagues to develop more progressive procurement techniques..

A DHS digital services team member told FCW a day before a planned industry day that the agency hoped to facilitate discussions between vendors and the agency, and between vendors themselves who might then partner up to bid on the agile contract.

The June 29 industry day is closed to the press.

According to contracting documents, the agency wants to hear from "non-traditional" organizations that don't normally do business with government, as well as more traditional contractors and potential teams of both.

DHS is eyeing a July 11 release of the FLASH request for proposals, with contract awards due by the end of the fiscal year, according to contracting documents -- though agency officials said that a timeline is likely to be presented at the event. DHS is anticipating eight to 12 awardees.

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, 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 or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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