Acquisition

House panel looks to spur acquisition innovation at DHS

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The House Homeland Security Committee has approved a bill that would put a manager in place to foster more acquisition innovation at the Department of Homeland Security.

The DHS Acquisition Innovation Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Luis Correa (D-Cal.) and Bennie Thompson, (D-Miss.), is designed to help the agency address the difficulties it has had historically with large, complex acquisitions. Shaky acquisition management has helped put the agency repeatedly on the Government Accountability Office's yearly "High-Risk" list, said the committee's report. The bill was reported out of committee on March 20.

Although DHS has shown improvement in the last several years, the committee said the legislation could help the department smooth out its acquisition practices even more.

The bill authorizes DHS under secretary for management to designate an official to manage acquisition innovation activities in the department.

It would also test emerging acquisition best acquisition practices and develop and distribute lessons learned throughout the department.

The measure would also set up metrics to measure the cost and efficiencies, including timeframes for contract execution, in collaboration with the private sector.

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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