One of the biggest challenges that the Homeland Security Department has always faced is creating a "DHS identity" among the thousands of employees working at the disparate 22 agencies that make up the department. If DHS' top management can pull that off, they will encourage agencies to work together and share information, which will lead to more efficiencies in IT.
One way to develop that "oneness" is to create a contract from which all DHS components can buy information technology. The Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions (EAGLE) contract is supposed to be that contract. Consolidating IT contracts departmentwide into EAGLE (which has a $48 billion spending ceiling) is designed to create a "one DHS view," says Jeremy Potter, a senior analyst with the federal marketing research firm INPUT.
Whether DHS can pull that off using EAGLE is still up for debate, although early indications show the contract is attracting large task orders, according to an INPUT analysis. In a webinar for IT vendors held today, Potter said the EAGLE contract has attracted 49 task orders worth $575 million from DHS agencies. Another $1 billion worth of IT task orders are expected to be submitted to EAGLE in the next 12 months, according to INPUT.
But one webinar attendee asked whether DHS may create a new agencywide contract because the attendee had heard that EAGLE was not popular among DHS contracting officers because its fees were too costly and it didnâ€™t provide enough choices. Potter responded that it was still too early to draw any conclusions on EAGLE's success and added that he had not heard any "rumblings" of a new acquisition vehicle at DHS.