Contracts

  • Cybersecurity jobsWashington, D.C. area leads nation in cybersecurity jobs

    The Washington, D.C metropolitan area had more than 23,000 cybersecurity job postings in 2013, making the region the leading destination for cybersecurity jobs, followed by the New York metro area with 15,000 cybersecurity job postings in 2013. On a state-by state basis, Virginia ranks second and Maryland ranks sixth, with Virginia reporting 25.1 cybersecurity job postings per 10,000 residents and Maryland posting 18.1 jobs per 10,000 residents.

  • DHS acquisition accountabilityTwo politicians insisting on more congressional oversight of DHS

    By Robert Lee Maril

    The lawmakers who support the proposed DHS Acquisition Accountability and Efficiency Act, authored by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina), are doing exactly what they were sent to Washington to do: they are attempting to provide fiscal oversight over one of our largest federal agencies. Hopefully, politicians on both sides of the aisle will join Representatives Duncan and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) in passing legislation forcing DHS to use tax payer money in the most efficient ways possible, including demanding contractors meet the terms of their contracts, not rewarding contractors who have a record of poor performance, and completing their security-related projects in a timely manner.

  • Plutonium disposalCost of plutonium disposal facility skyrockets

    The Mixed Oxide (MOX) nuclear fuel factory at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, being built to help dispose of cold war-era weapon-grade plutonium, would cost up to $30 billion in addition to the $4 billion spent on construction so far. The staggering cost overruns have led many to call for a new, less expensive solution. Matthew Bunn, a former Clinton White House official who helped develop the plutonium disposal program, agrees that the cost of the MOX factory is excessive. “The things we’re trying to accomplish aren’t worth that amount of money,” he said.

  • Security checksSecurity check contractor defrauded U.S. of millions of dollars

    The Department of Justice said Wednesday that U.S. Investigations Services (USIS), the company which conducted the background checks on Edward Snowden and Aaron Alexis, has defrauded the government of millions of dollars. The government charges that between 2008 and 2012, 650,000 background investigations – about 40 percent of the company’s investigations in that period – were submitted to the government as having been completed although, in fact, they were not. Several former and current USIS employees said the company had an incentive to rush background check work because it was paid only after a file is marked “FF,” for fieldwork finished, and sent to the government. Two senior managers said that toward the end of the month, investigations were closed in order to meet financial quotas, without a required review by the quality control department.

  • Border securityGovernment agencies recognized for engagement with industry

    The Washington Homeland Security Roundtable (WHSR) established the Industry Engagement Awards to recognize exceptional efforts by government agencies to collaborate, engage, and partner with industry. Last year, WHSR recognized both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Border Patrol for their engagement and programs with industry through WHSR. At their upcoming 4 December holiday reception, WHSR will again recognize various government leaders of DHS component agencies for their contributions to partnering and engaging with industry.

  • BlimpsNavy blimp returns to Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. skies today

    The U.S. Navy’s only manned airship, a modified American Blimp Corporation A-170 series commercial blimp, will return to the skies of Maryland today, 12 November, to conduct week-long testing of experimental avionics systems.Results of this research may ultimately help protect forward deployed U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps troops around the globe.

  • BlimpsDoD ends ambitious blimp program

    The Department of Defensehas decided to end its Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) project.The blimp was supposed to fly for as long as three weeks at a time, gather intelligence using 2,500 pounds worth of the most advanced cameras, sensors, and other intelligence technology. Operating at an altitude of 20,000 feet, the airship was designed to withstand enemy fire with its blend of fabrics, including kevlar. The Pentagon spent $297 million on the airship, but last month sold it back to one of the contractors which built it for $301,000.

  • AviationDHS debars scanner maker from government contracts

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has sent OSI Systems, the manufacturer of airport body scanners, a debarment notice which would prevent the company from receiving government contacts in the future. The notice was sent to the company after TSA determined that the company had failed to address security concerns about its scanners.

  • ContractsDefense Department drops Blackberry

    The U.S. Department of Defense has opened its mobile communication networks to Apple, Google, and other mobile communication companies.Currently the department handles more than 600,000 mobile devices, of which 470,000 are BlackBerrys, 41,000 are Apple devices, and 8,700 run on Google’s Android system.

  • Border securityDHS seeks better ways to detect ultra light aircrafts used by smugglers

    As the war on drugs continues with every sunrise and sunset, DHS has awarded a contract just short of $100 million for a specialized system which will be able to detect ultralight aircrafts which are used to smuggle drugs across the border

  • NYPD helicoptersA third Bell 412 helicopter delivered to NYPD for counterterrorism missions

    The NYPD dedicated many hours to designing the specifications of the department’s third Bell 412 to meet the diverse needs of the police department; one of the counterterrorism additions to the Bell 412 is a radiation detection system that can identify radiation signatures from an altitude of 200 feet in an effort to protect the city from nuclear bomb threats

  • Infrastructure protectionFeds give Colorado access to critical infrastructure info

    The Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) compiles about 500 layers of geographic features, including power plants and water pumps; it is managed by DHS, the Pentagon’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Geological Survey; the data set is available to state first responders only when federal disasters are declared; DHS has now given Colorado access to the HSIP

  • BudgetDHS FY2013 $5.75 billion IT budget request focuses on mobility, data center consolidation

    DHS FY2013 IT spending requests are roughly even with FY2012 levels, with emphasis on commodity IT, mobility, and data center consolidation; the overall 2013 DHS budget request is just under $40 billion; the department’s IT budget request is just over $5.75 billion; down from $5.79 billion in FY2012

  • BusinessDHS awards Unisys IT services contract with a total potential value of $3 billion

    Unisys among thirty companies to compete for task orders for infrastructure support and operations and maintenance services under $3 billion contract; Unisys shares were trading sharply higher Wednesday morning after the company released the news about the contract

  • BusinessCSC, Knight Point Systems receive DHS mentor- protégé award

    DHS Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) selected two Virginia-based companies, CSC and Knight Point Systems, to receive the 2012 DHS Mentor-Protégé Team of the Year award