Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 5, 2007

New DHS Technology Task Force Underway

Filed under: DHS News,Technology for HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on November 5, 2007

DHS has formed a new Task Force under the Advisory Council Act to assess the ways in which the Department of Homeland Security can improve its acquisition of essential technologies. Under the auspices of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Essential Technologies Task Force, as it is called, is sponsored mainly by Under Secretary for Management Paul Schneider, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, and Chief Information Officer Scott Charbo.

With very explicit terms of reference, and a very short amount of time to do its work, this may be one of the better run advisory councils yet for DHS. The topics under discussion ranged into critical areas of strategy, process, and leadership during the Task Force’s first hearing this past Thursday.

Both Scott Gould, VP of Strategy & Change at IBM Public Sector, and I were invited to testify before the Task Force to address a number of issues we believe ought to inform the process of improving DHS decision making in this area, as well as a number of options for immediate, near term, and long term improvements to DHS technology acquisition. The hearing was closed and so I’ll refrain from uploading our comments here or those of others who appeared before the panel. However, the Task Force’s final report will be made public. Following are the members of the Essential Technologies Task Force for DHS.

  • George A. Vradenburg III, President, Vradenberg Foundation – Chairman
  • Joseph White, CEO, American Red Cross, St. Luis MO – Co-Vice Chair
  • John L. Skolds, President, Exelon Energy Delivery and Exelon Generation – Co-Vice Chair
  • Dr. Richard Andrews, Senior Director, National Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination
  • Nelson Balido, President and CEO, Balido &Associates
  • Elliott Broidy, Commissioner, Los Angeles City Fire and Police Pension Fund
  • Dan Corsentino, Former Sheriff, Pueblo County, Colorado
  • Dr. Ruth David, President & CEO, Analytic Services, Inc. (Arlington, VA)
  • Dr. Victoria F. Haynes, President, Research Triangle Institute (Research Triangle, NC)
  • Phillip E. Keith, Former Chief of the Knoxville Tennessee Police Dept. (Knoxville, TN)
  • Stephen Payne, President of Worldwide Strategic Partners and Worldwide Strategic Energy
  • Richard “Rick” Stephens, Senior VP, Human Resources and Admin., The Boeing Company
  • Dr. Lydia C. Thomas, President and CEO (Ret.), Noblis
  • David Wallace, Mayor of Sugarland, Texas
  • Allen Zenowitz, Retired General and FEMA Senior Official
  • Ex-Officio: Judge William Webster, HSAC Chair, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP
  • Ex-Officio: Dr. James Schlesinger, HSAC Vice Chair, Chairman, Board of Trustees, The MITRE Corporation
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    3 Comments »

    Pingback by New DHS Technology Task Force Underway

    November 13, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

    [...] Read the rest of this great post here [...]

    Comment by Lost in Space

    December 12, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    One of the more disturbing things that I’ve seen in Government contracting is the DHS EAGLE contract. Although there are major benefits to DHS such as the ability to expedite the procurement process reducing time, cost and effort there are also some major adverse effects that are manifesting themselves.

    Based on the volume and velocity of the solicitations, SI’s are passing on opportunities because they simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to muster the capture teams to even study the requirements.

    More importantly, the solicitations are not made public. Emerging technology companies cannot see the requirements and are unable to approach the SI community with solution briefs.

    These two issues will cause DHS to suffer from un-fair competition which is preventing emerging innovation from reaching DHS decision makers.

    Comment by Quemann

    February 17, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

    The on-going security checks and mass surveillance, based mainly on RFID and biometric technology,won’t be an optimal solution longer term. The reason is the above-mentioned technology is to search terror suspects one by one. In other words, it is a “brute force search”, which is to leave no stone unturned for a Pyrrhic achievement. To embrace more emerging technologies, you guys have to keep the doors wide open for unsolicited proposals, instead of limiting acceptability to RFP proposals. The reason is simple:
    innovation can hardly be relied on corporate titans who are busy on a cash cow buyout frenzy and whose lab benches are loaded with forensic tools to counter and circumvent competitors.

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