DHS looks to the cloud to manage its Procurement Innovation Lab
- By Mark Rockwell
- Apr 13, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security wants a workload management system that will give its team of expert procurement coaches a cloud based tool that will help them cultivate innovative acquisition at the agency and beyond.
The agency issued a request for information for its Procurement Innovation Lab for a Knowledge Management System, that can do double duty as a workload and data management system.
The lab, created by DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa five years ago to give the agency's procurement officers a place to experiment with non-traditional acquisition techniques, as well as spark cultural change in traditional federal acquisition practices.
According to the RFI, DHS currently has five lab coaches that provide acquisition advice on efficient business practices and procurement support to DHS component agencies.
In the RFI issued April 9, DHS it wants a business system to track lab activities and conduct data analysis and produce reports for agency participants. The lab is looking to avoid a system limited to only storing and sharing documents.
The agency said it hopes to the system will enable any DHS component employee that wants to be a procurement coach to be able to use the system for support. It also said it plans to expand the system across government "in the near future."
Lab coaches are currently working with 55 procurement teams across dozens of agencies including the Center for Disease Control, the Department of the Interior, the National Science Foundation and the FBI. The coaches travel to support organizations, making a cloud-based system more logical for their needs.
The agency also wants the system to optimize its use of electronic credentialing. The agency said it currently manages its own digi-badge micro-credential program, but the process is manual and time-consuming as the agency pulls names from spreadsheets to send emails containing the digi-badges.
"This whole process is very much a schoolhouse function, but it is one we need to be able to manage. If a person has engaged the PIL on 4 projects and also attended a PIL Boot Camp, it would be great if the system automatically recognized that through data captured on the PIL 1-pager or bi-weekly engagements and the PIL Boot Camp roster and could automatically issue that person their earned digi-badge," said the RFI.
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.
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