Homeland Security Department contractors and would-be suppliers told the agency it is preventing them from providing truly innovative services and products, FCW reported Jan. 31. The department’s focus on complying with rules and specifying exact solutions crowd out creativity and risk-taking, they said during a Jan. 31 DHS reverse industry day.
Reverse industry days are designed to allow federal contractors to present their perspectives to agency procurement and program staff.
Barry West, DHS senior accountable officer for risk management, said contractors should let department procurement staff know when the requirements are unduly narrow in prescribing how work should be done or exact equipment to be used.
“It’s not just about going to see the CIO. You should be going to see the small business advocates, your procurement officers,” said West. “Because they play, in many cases, a more important role [in acquisition] than the CIO.”