DHS Official: Expect a Follow-on to FirstSource

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.