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Transportation Security Specialists Feature in DHS Small Business Awards

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has announced its annual award winners. OSDBU established the Annual Small Business and Small Business Advocate Awards Program to recognize small businesses, small business advocates, and a mentor-protégé team that have shown outstanding performance in advancing the Department’s mission.

Transportation security providers featured well in the awards with TechOp Solutions International, Trilogy Secured Services, and Information Discovery Services winning Small Business Awards.

The awards recognize small businesses that have provided outstanding contract support in the advancement of the various DHS missions during Fiscal Year 2019. These small businesses are recognized for a variety of reasons such as creative or unique solutions to DHS requirements; extraordinary customer service and/or significant value; productivity and efficiency gains; innovative ideas to a specific contract task; and cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

TechOp Solutions International, Inc. supported multiple information technology projects in the furtherance of several high profile and priority programs such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Mobile, Mobile Passport Control, the Biometric Entry/Exit, and the Traveler Communication Center. In Fiscal Year 2019, TechOp conducted an inventory of all 4,500 mobile assets, including 1,700 deployed devices. The company also supported the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) Program and was responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the third-party vendor onboarding process, business requirements documents, and privacy audit parameters. The TechOp team assisted in bringing two additional MPC applications to the marketplace, which is now available at 31 ports of entry and has been used by over 11 million travelers, with over 4 million travelers in FY 2019 alone. TechOp supported the Biometric Entry/Exit program by providing subject matter expertise in data protection and privacy best practices and resolved over 269,000 travel inquiries about Trusted Traveler Programs, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, and the Electronic Visa Application System. During FY 2019, the average quality assurance score increased to 97.1 percent, up from 95.9 percent in FY 2018. 

Trilogy Secured Services, LLC provides electronic security to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) locations through the installation and maintenance of cameras, networking equipment that supports archival and retrieval of all camera footage, and HSPD-12 infrastructure for ingress and egress to include badge readers and door locks. Trilogy’s support is key to TSA maintaining its HSPD-12 and Level 4 Perimeter Security Compliance. Trilogy repaired, maintained, and in the case of the HQ consolidation and move, installed new Level 4 compliant security perimeter equipment. Over the last four years, Trilogy has never had an issue supporting the complex electronic and physical security system that TSA employs. When malfunctions occurred, Trilogy supported TSA with one day response times and typically returned systems to operational status in a 24 hour timeframe. Trilogy’s support extends to the provision of Information System Security Officers which ensures that the electronic security system installed for TSA’s Level 4 Perimeter Security Compliance maintains FISMA certification and a positive scorecard. 

Information Discovery Services, LLC (IDS) conducts inclusive background investigations (IBIs) of commercial airline pilots aspiring to become Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDOs). IDS also completes Employment Verifications (EVs) for the Crew Member Self Defense Training, a voluntary program of instruction in self-defense measures. IDS completed 965 EVs and 3,567 full IBIs on FFDO candidates through significant increases in efficiency, quality, timeliness, and visibility. IDS tripled the number of personnel cleared and trained on the FFDO program to accommodate the desired compression contract timelines. IDS developed and implemented new processes and efficiency of operations to overcome deficiencies in the FFDO application form and process, thereby significantly reducing processing and investigation times.

The awards also recognize small business advocates within DHS. Stacey Huther, contracting officer, was named the Small Business Advocate for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). She has been an effective advocate and leader in her role as a contracting officer within the Credentialing, Screening and Intelligence Acquisition Division in TSA Contracting and Procurement. Huther’s leadership and business acumen were instrumental in a recent award for Protective Security Officer Services, which resulted in a small business set-aside for the first time in the requirement’s history. Guard Services are extremely important given the heightened level of security of all federal buildings. The Program Management Office (PMO) was naturally concerned about any change in service provider for this requirement. Huther provided clear, effective, and consistent communication to the program office, and her leadership allowed TSA to reduce requirement formulation by approximately six months. She combined the on-boarding and transition time, reducing this process from 95 days to 60 days. This allowed TSA to avoid a bridge contract and oversight cost associated with managing two contractors. As a result, Huther awarded a five-year contract vehicle valued at $74 million dollars and contributed to TSA exceeding its small business prime contracting goal.

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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