SBINet to spawn $2 billion opportunity

The Homeland Security Department's Secure Border Initiative should generate more than $2 billion in IT spending, according to a report released by the market research firm Input Inc.

DHS' recent request for proposals for SBINet calls for a comprehensive effort to take control of the nearly 6,000 miles of the United States' international land border.

The RFP focuses on defining the country's border problems and requirements the government has set for any proposed solutions, but the document does not specify any solutions. Rather, it is structured as a performance-based initiative where the contractor would propose the means by which to achieve program goals, according to the Reston, Va. research firm's report.

"The specifics of SBINet are intentionally vague, allowing wide latitude for vendors that can help DHS develop effective solutions," said John Slye, a senior analyst covering federal opportunities for Input.

However, as part of the RFP, DHS did ask vendors to include labor rate information as part of their bids. That request makes it unclear how DHS will apply the performance based standards to various proposals, Slye said.

Key products and services sought through SBINet include program and knowledge management services, systems engineering and integration services as well as geospatial and surveillance technologies. The proposal also asks for IT and communication hardware, architecture, engineering and construction services, communications services and software applications.

"SBINet represents a potential bonanza," Slye said.

There is a role for tens, if not hundreds of companies in the program, Input said. As there are at least 20 defined product and service delivery areas, it is likely that much of that work will be subcontracted.

Large integrators, such as Boeing Co., Ericsson Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. have been mentioned as possible prime contractors, though teaming arrangements are real possibilities, Input said.

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