The Office of Information and Technology (OIT) at U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced two new contracting opportunities, including initiatives that support small businesses.
OIT will award two new multiple-award Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs): Enterprise Small Business (ESB) and Enterprise Business Management Support Services 2.0 (EBMSS 2.0). ESB is slated for award in the third quarter of fiscal year 2023, and EBMSS is anticipated to be awarded in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024.
ESB will further OIT’s efforts to provide technology services and solutions for the agency. The ESB BPA is an opportunity to foster small and disadvantaged business engagement. OIT’s market research has proven that small businesses can perform in the world of IT services and support. In 2021, OIT hosted the first ESB Virtual Industry Day with participation from more than 300 small and disadvantaged businesses. OIT hosted a second ESB Virtual Industry Day in 2022 with participation doubling to 600 vendors in attendance. The Virtual Industry Day provided CBP, OIT, and the small business IT community a chance to collaborate on how small business can support the CBP mission as prime contractors.
On Dec. 21, 2022, the ESB solicitation was released to the vendor community to begin drafting their proposal responses. ESB has requirements related to the mission support areas including Professional Services and Emerging Technology, Data Transformation, Development and Maintenance Support.
Now that the ESB BPA is underway, OIT is focused on recompeting the Enterprise Business Management Support Services (EBMSS) BPA, which had rounded the corner of its fifth year of operation. EBMSS provided crucial support for CBP as well as DHS HQ, which awarded multiple task orders in support of both the Child Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Campaign and the migrant surges at the southwest border. OIT recently initiated a notice to industry, through the System for Award Management, of OIT’s intent to award another BPA very similar to that of the expiring EBMSS BPA, which will be known as EBMSS 2.0.
The government has an aggressive schedule in place and is working to have its industry day in the spring, and a solicitation released soon thereafter.
OIT is concentrating on a variety of methods to modernize IT operations, including increased cyber threats and border surges. In addition to IT modernization, the agency is driving strategic transformation to improve customer experience and deliver high-quality services. CBP Chief Information Officer and OIT Assistant Commissioner Sonny Bhagowalia identifies his objective as, “Transforming government at the speed of mission through innovation in business, technology, and governance. The size, scope, and complexity of the CBP mission, and the sheer breadth and reach of CBP in protecting the American people, safeguarding the borders, and ensuring America’s prosperity is stunning. It is by far one of the most important agencies that run the mission of the country.”
OIT’s efforts aim to enable CBP mission readiness and improve the ability of all employees, including officers and agents in the field, to be proactive and responsive to new threats. These BPAs will create a landscape for multiple groups in the business community to get involved and work with the government while providing their expertise to support the CBP mission.