Carla Thomas, industry liaison at the Department of Homeland Security, discusses why the department wants to cultivate relationships with their contractors, and how they are accomplishing it.
The Department of Homeland Security is looking to build bridges between the organization and the contractors that supply it. Through a series of initiatives, the acquisition units at DHS are hoping for increased collaboration with their industry counterparts. Carla Thomas, industry liaison at DHS, says that by outfitting the department’s divisions with dedicated outreach staff, the public/private relationship will stay strong. “DHS is pretty big. We have 22 components and nine buying activities, so we’ve been really proactive for providing tools and resources for industry to engage with us at the department,” said Thomas. “With the support of our chief procurement officer Soraya Correa, we have a robust industry liaison program. We have small business specialists at each of the components. So, there’s a number of tools available.”