DHS releases draft RFP for $3B FirstSource contract

The Homeland Security Department has released its draft request for proposals for the FirstSource II program, a follow-on to the current IT commodity strategic sourcing program.

DHS intends to award multiple indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts for commercial IT items. It will be a seven-year, $3 billion program and a mandatory source for DHS offices. Officials will require the department to use FirstSource before looking elsewhere to buy IT commodities, according to the draft RFP, which was released Oct. 28.

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DHS intends to release the final FirstSource II RFP by Dec. 30.

The resulting contracts will replace FirstSource, which expires in 2012.

DHS wants to buy commodities, such as laptops, desktop workstations, tools to secure data, and commodities to support various types of wired and wireless networks for mobile IT devices, according to the draft.

The FirstSource program was launched in 2005, and it has become a cornerstone of DHS' small business and strategic sourcing efforts, according to DHS.  FirstSource contracts streamlined purchases, deliveries and installation of IT commodity products and solutions.

Like the initial FirstSource, officials want to emphasize again the reseller’s added services to accompany the commodity IT purchases. The draft RFP opens the contract to buy any IT commodity product.

Officials say the department needs to access technological advances and new business practices that may increase productivity, efficiency, and reduce costs. At the same time, DHS also needs to leverage its department-wide buying power to get the lowest prices.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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