Solicitation coming for DHS systems engineering R&D center

The Homeland Security Department plans to soon issue a
solicitation that eventually could be worth up to $455 million for
a contractor to establish and operate a research and development
center dedicated to systems engineering and development, including
information technology systems.

The new federally funded research and development center would
help DHS identify and implement best practices for technical
systems engineering and acquisitions, and would be named the
Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute

The SEDI would generally work on the most complex homeland
security systems, according to a draft solicitation notice. In
addition, the notice said the SEDI would provide program-level
technical and integration expertise to DHS program managers that is
not otherwise available.

The department estimated the effort would cost $455 million over
five years, with the government allotting $60 million for the first
year. The award would be for an indefinite-delivery,
indefinite-quantity contract for a base year with four one-year
option periods.

DHS first published a pre-solicitation notice that detailed its
plans for the SEDI in April. The department then published a draft
solicitation in September and a more recent version on Nov. 3.
Comments on the current draft request for proposal are due by Nov.

"Over time, [the SEDI] will help the department develop an
integrated DHS system of systems engineering approach that will
promote process efficiencies and synergies through best practices
and standardized documentation,” the program’s draft
request for proposal (RFP) reads.

DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate would be the
contract's administrator and provide a SEDI program office to help
develop strategies for reaching across the department to negotiate
task orders for work at the center, the draft RFP says. That
program office would also provide additional guidance and
administrative support throughout the term of the contract.

DHS plans to issue the final solicitation on or before Nov. 10,
the latest draft solicitation said.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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