Industry Partnership Strengthens EAGLE Program
By Steve LeSueur
One of the chief successes of the EAGLE program has been its ability to
forge a strong partnership with contractors to better serve the IT
needs of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
To maintain communication with the 53 participating companies, EAGLE
program officials hold quarterly EAGLE Alliance meetings that bring
together the contractors with EAGLE and DHS officials, including chief
information officers and contracting officers from the component
agencies. They discuss forecasts, get feedback from vendors about
agency plans, and provide recommendations to vendors to help with
proposal preparation, reporting and other issues.
“It consists of a lot of open dialogue with both EAGLE officials
and your industry peers on the contract vehicle, so we can share ideas
trials and tribulations, and resolve things in an open forum,”
said Paul Bize, vice president of sales for homeland security and
intelligence business for HP Enterprise Services, formerly EDS before
its acquisition by HP. “These meetings provide a very good
framework for both small and large businesses to work together to
Contractors and DHS officials also have created Integrated Product
Teams to address specific topics and problems, which, together with the
EAGLE Alliance meetings, have helped industry gain insight into DHS
plans for future IT projects. “The government brought in some of
the chief information officers to talk about their vision for their
components, where they were going, their major opportunities, and how
they intended to use EAGLE,” said Hank Di Nunzio, General
Dynamics’ EAGLE Program Manager.
The improved visibility into planned DHS procurements helps agency
users as well as EAGLE contractors. “The government gets more
competition and the contractors are more responsive to the
agency’s needs” because they are better prepared, said Tony
Sacco, SAIC’s EAGLE Program Manager.
In addition to the Alliance Meetings and IPT Groups, EAGLE contracting
officials are available for informal discussions and ad hoc meetings.
“We try to keep an
open-door policy,” said Soraya Correa, director of the Office of
Procurement Operations, which oversees the EAGLE program. Correa said
the team of contracting
officers that manages EAGLE is always available. Industry officials
also can speak with Correa, her deputy, and Kevin Boshears, director of
the DHS Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
“I’ve had vendors come to me about issues and questions,
such as how decisions were made or procurements were won. We can only
make the program better if we listen to each other,” Correa said.
Industry officials agree. “The EAGLE office has done a very good
job in communicating to the contract holders about activities and
changes to the vehicle,” Bize said.
“The government has provided a great benefit by providing greater
visibility into planned procurements and by providing a forum for
industry to make suggestions for improving the operations of the
contract,” Di Nunzio added.
For DHS components, the payoff is IT services and solutions that
support their mission needs. “We’ve been able to come
together as a team to improve our operations across the
department,” Correa said.