The Department of Homeland Security will continue with its FirstSource IT contract according to recent agency announcements. In a surprise move that bucks the trend toward abandoning discrete vehicles in favor of Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) against GSA Multiple Award Schedule contracts, DHS acquisition head Soraya Correa said that her agency will proceed with FirstSource III with a solicitation planned for January. The move came as surprise to many in the IT acquisition arena, as DHS had previously cancelled plans for a next generation Eagle contract in favor of Schedule BPAs. This change placed the agency in the company of the State Department, Air Force and others who had elected to use GSA Schedule contracts as the basis for their own agency needs. Anyone listening to what Correa and others at DHS have been saying recently would not have been caught off-guard. Correa has said several times this summer that DHS needed its own acquisition vehicles to meet its special needs. In addition, Correa is high on data analytics and on managing IT spending in DHS, measurements that may be more easily provided via an internal vehicle than from an outside contract. The FirstSource II contract has captured nearly half of the agency’s IT commodity transactions over the past year, indicating its popularity inside DHS. Contractors can expect multiple agency engagements between now and January, according to DHS. A place on FirstSource III could be a gateway to improved DHS business. Be prepared to participate and listen to what the agency is saying. See the article here for more.