EAGLE II to Offer Guidance to DHS Contracting Officers

EAGLE II
EAGLE II to Offer More Guidance to DHS Contracting Officers

By Steve LeSueur

When Soraya Correa and other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials were creating the ordering guide for the first EAGLE contract, they tried to give agency contracting officers as much flexibility as possible in putting together task orders for the new agency-wide contract. As a former contracting officer and head of contracting, Correa didn’t want to be overly prescriptive in the guidance provided to her counterparts. And while EAGLE was generally successful in introducing standardized procurement processes to disparate DHS components, those processes were not as consistent across the agency as she would have liked.
   
“A lesson learned was we should provide a little more detailed guidance” to contracting officials, said Correa, who is director of the DHS Office of Procurement Operations. “In EAGLE II, we’re trying to introduce more templates and formats for consistency.”
   
As examples, Correa said the EAGLE office likely would provide more guidance on how to create a task order request for proposal and how to conduct market research under EAGLE.

Another change that already has occurred is that the Enterprise Solutions Office (ESO), which previously managed the EAGLE program, has been renamed the Acquisition Management & Support Division. In addition, the division now oversees all agency-wide purchasing within DHS, including EAGLE, FirstSource, PACTS (a non-IT services contract), and strategic sourcing initiatives. Within the division, the Acquisition Program Management Branch has direct responsibility for EAGLE program management.

“We took ESO, capitalized on it, and expanded its role to support all agency-wide buys,” Correa said.

The Acquisition Program Management Branch, which is staffed primarily with program management professionals, will continue developing the EAGLE ordering guide, training users, running best practices forums, and conducting outreach to DHS components, Correa said. The outreach is more than just educating potential users about EAGLE. “We not only want to make sure that people know the vehicle is available and how to use it, but we also want feedback on how well the vehicle is working for them and to help people walk through any problems,” Correa said.

DHS does not require EAGLE users to undergo training. EAGLE materials, including the ordering guide, are available online and provide guidance for using the vehicle. However, EAGLE officials will provide training and additional support at no charge to component agencies. “The Acquisition Program Management Branch will do hands-on training for contracting officers and offer assistance to help them work through the process,” Correa said.