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Homeland Security Further Action Needed to Promote Successful Use of Special Dhs Acquisition Authority

By Woods, William T.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000022493
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.5 MB
Reproduction Date: 2008
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Title: Homeland Security Further Action Needed to Promote Successful Use of Special Dhs Acquisition Authority  
Author: Woods, William T.
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, Legislation., Government Printing Office (U.S.)
Collections: Government Library Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Government Printing Office


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Woods, W. T. (n.d.). Homeland Security Further Action Needed to Promote Successful Use of Special Dhs Acquisition Authority. Retrieved from

Excerpt: The Department of Homeland Security has issued policy and is developing a workforce to implement its other transactions authority, but the department’s policies need further development and its contracting workforce needs strengthening to promote the successful use of the authority in the future. Soon after it was established, DHS issued other transactions solicitations using some commonly accepted acquisition practices and knowledge-based acquisition principles. Subsequently, the department issued a management directive and drafted guidance for using other transactions, loosely modeled on the practices of the Department of Defense (DOD), one of several other agencies with other transactions authority and the one with the most experience with using these agreements. Unlike DOD, however, DHS has not specified in its policies or guidance when its contracting staff should consider the use of independent audits to help ensure, for example, that payments to contractors are accurate. Similarly, DHS has not established training requirements to aid staff in understanding and leveraging the benefits of other transactions. The DHS contracting workforce is limited in size and capacity, which could impede the department’s ability to manage a potential increase in its other transactions workload. DHS is taking steps to enhance the capacity of its contracting workforce.

Table of Contents
Letter 1 Results in Brief 2 Scope and Methodology 3 Background 4 DHS Placed Initial Priority on Project Implementation while Developing Other Transactions Policy and Acquisition Workforce 8 DHS Included Nontraditional Government Contractors in Initial Projects, but Practices May Not Fully Leverage Market Capabilities 23 Conclusions 31 Recommendations 31 Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 31 Appendix I Comments from the Department of Homeland Security 34 Tables Table 1: DHS’s List of Laws Generally Inapplicable to Its Other Transactions Agreements 6 Table 2: DHS’s Purposes and Criteria for Using Other Transactions for Research and Prototype Projects 18 Table 3: Composition of Counter-MANPADS Project Phase 1 Contractor Teams 24 Figures Figure 1: S&T Directorate’s Fiscal Year 2004 Acquisition Activity 8 Figure 2: The S&T Directorate’s Offices and Overview of Their Functions 9 Figure 3: Mobile Laboratory—Exterior and Interior Views 11 Figure 4: Illustration of Commercial Airplane Using Laser Technology to Deflect MANPADS Missile 12 Figure 5: Overview of the S&T Directorate’s Acquisition Process for Other Transactions 13 Figure 6: Counter-MANPADS Project Phase 1 and Phase 2 Payable Milestones 16 Contents Page ii GAO-05-136 Homeland Security Figure 7: Timeline of DHS’s Development of Policies and Guidance for Using Other Transactions and Its Ongoing Other Transactions Projects 19 Figure 8: Illustration of S&T Directorate’s Increasing Other Transactions Workload and Available In-house Contract Administration Support, Fiscal Year 2004 to Fiscal Year 2005 22 Figure 9: Illustration of S&T Directorate’s Current Acquisition Processes with Possible Knowledge Management Function 30 Abbreviations BAA broad agency announcements CAS Cost Accounting Standards Chem-Bio Chemical and Biological Countermeasures Counter-MANPADS Countermeasures for Man Portable Air Defense System CPO Chief Procurement Officer DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DCAA Defense Contract Audit Agency DHS Department of Homeland Security DOD Department of Defense FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation FTE full-time equivalent HSARPA Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency IP intellectual property IPT Integrated Product Team R&D research and development S&T Science and Technology SED Systems Engineering and Development


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