DHS defends sole-source software buy

The department purchased risk-assessment software from SEMS Technologies

The Homeland Security Department has disclosed that it awarded a $782,000 sole-source contract to a Georgia software firm to update the risk-assessment software of rural water utilities.

Department officials said they need to update and add enhancements to the Security Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) Tool to make it compliant with risk-management strategies. The SEMS Tool currently is being used by about 25,000 rural water utilities.

Department officials published a “Justification & Approval” document online on July 17 explaining why it chose to select SEMS Technologies LLC of Suwanee, Georgia to perform the work.

“SEMS Technologies LLC is the sole author and owner of the source code for the SEMS Tool. As the source code is proprietary software, the enhancements and upgrades can only be completed by the owner of the software,” the justification document states.

Under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, departments are required to justify contracts that are awarded without full and open competition. The DHS said it was complying with that requirement.

The award to SEMS Technologies is for $232,000 for 15 months, with four option periods totaling three years and nine months. The maximum value if all options are exercised is $782,000.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Thu, Jul 23, 2009

I have to agree. This isn't news ... as written. Perhaps the story really is either: a. DHS didn't originally publish the sole source statement as required (the story mentions the date, possibly implying this). b. The author thought that it wasn't sole source because the possibility existed that DHS could purchase entirely new software and deploy it. It seems self evident from the sole source statement that this would be a huge waste of time of both the government to solicit bids and the vendors who submitted bids against an already installed competitor. Or c. the author couldn't find anything else to publish that day and had to meet some quota. (the stupid) In all cases, there seems to be some journalistic quality problems here.

Tue, Jul 21, 2009 Rich Fairfax, VA

The Gov posts J&As all the time for sole source contracts. This is hardly DHS "defending" their software buy, it's just a requirement. Scott hit the nail on the head: THIS ISN'T NEWS.

Tue, Jul 21, 2009 Scott McLean, VA

why is this a story?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!