WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive
Nick Wakeman

ManTech protests General Dynamics win of controversial DHS-ICE contract

ManTech International has filed a bid protest against a $113 million contract won by General Dynamics to support the Homeland Security Department’s Visa Lifecycle Vetting Initiative.

The initiative drew fire at one time because Immigration and Customs Enforcement originally sought a company that could apply machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to scan social media feeds and identify people with visa’s who may pose a terrorist threat to the United States. This was part of the so-called “extreme vetting” process that the Trump administration has advocated for.

DHS faced push-back from civil liberty groups, who were worried that people’s rights would be trampled upon and that the system would be used to profile Muslims and others groups.

But there also was the problem that the technology didn’t really exist and the system would need to be custom built, which would take years and would be the kind of project susceptible to cost overruns.

The Washington Post reported in May that DHS and ICE gave up on the AI effort. Instead the contract focuses on “training, management and personnel” who will do the analysis manually. The Post reported that ICE would hire about 180 people via a contractor. They would monitor the social media feeds of 10,000 foreign visitors that the agency has flagged as high-risk.

The 180 would only monitor publicly visible social-media posts. The monitoring would stop if the person received legal residency in the United States, the Post said, attributing the information to ICE.

CSRA won the work and General Dynamics acquired it earlier this year.

ManTech filed its protest on Aug. 24. A decision is due from GAO by Dec. 3.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Aug 29, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.