DHS delays major systems procurement

The Homeland Security Department has put the $5 billion, five-year Security Planning and Integrated Resources for Information Technology procurement on hold.

The procurement is planned to cover almost every IT service needed in the department.

The department earlier had planned to request proposals for the Spirit project on May 18, according to Input Inc., a Reston, Va., market research firm.

On May 7, the Coast Guard contracting office that is handling Spirit issued a notice that "the Spirit acquisition has been temporarily suspended to permit reassessment of the acquisition."

In mid-February, DHS issued a notice that the procurement would be pared back to $5 billion and five years from its earlier planned level of $10 billion and 10 years.

DHS officials were not immediately available to discuss the reasons for the delay.

"DHS is reassessing all the options it has across the department for IT services. There was a feeling that Spirit was redundant in combination with other projects. I think they are exercising sound judgment," said consultant Jim Flyzik.

The Spirit procurement involves dozens of categories of IT services, from CIO support and software development to seat management and hardware maintenance.

DHS has not yet offered an estimate of how long Spirit will be delayed.

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