DHS Official: Expect a Follow-on to FirstSource
By Steve LeSueur
The Department of Homeland Security will create a
successor contract to FirstSource to replace that contracting vehicle
before it expires, said Soraya Correa, director of the DHS Office of
Procurement Operations. “FirstSource has been an extremely
successful program. You can definitely expect there will be a follow-on
to FirstSource,” she said.
FirstSource is a DHS agency-wide contracting vehicle for commercial IT
hardware and software. The contract thus serves as a companion vehicle
to EAGLE, which provides IT services and solutions. To date, DHS
components have issued 9,500 delivery orders totaling about $1.3
billion through FirstSource.
The contract, which began in 2007, will expire in February 2012.
Currently, 11 small businesses participate in FirstSource. As with
EAGLE, FirstSource does not charge a fee to use the contract.
“It's been very widely used across the department, and we've been
able to process orders in as little as a few hours when we've needed
to,” Correa said, adding that, because of FirstSource's fast
turnaround, “some components have even gotten themselves out of
trouble using it.”
DHS organizations using FirstSource have the option of using reverse
auctions to get the best prices for the products they purchase. In
reverse auctions, companies compete for a task order by progressively
bidding lower prices. Components can place orders directly if they
want, but most use the reverse-auction process. Since reverse
auctioning was implemented in the program, DHS has realized cost
savings of $131.8 million on awards totaling $814 million.
Correa said her office is focused on EAGLE II right now, but is poised to begin the FirstSource follow-on effort.