Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security, discusses the agency’s Procurement Innovation Lab, and how they are using “boot camps” to educate about the concept.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Procurement Innovation Lab is working to make the acquisition process smoother for both the government and contractors. Through processes like “interactive dialogue,” DHS is on the leading edge of new procurement strategies. Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer at DHS, said that the lab helps to provide leadership support to acquisition professionals, and they’re hoping to expand the labs across the federal government. “People recognize that our contracting officers can be very innovative and they can be creative when they have two things. One, the ability to take managed risks… and two, leadership support,” Correa said. “So, [we’re] seeing all these other agencies interested in our boot camp program, and as a result of that we’ve been invited to other agencies to actually put on the boot camps at their facility to encourage innovation on their teams.” Correa says that she hopes these kinds of boot camps become a regular occurrence, and that DHS would like to expand the camp’s audience to more than just acquisition professionals. “In September, we actually hosted a boot camp for industry, because I think it’s important that as we are teaching the government these techniques, we’re helping industry understand what these techniques are that we’re adopting. I hope to continue to promote the PIL boot camps, to continue to have PIL boot camps,” Correa told Government Matters “We’re working on a PIL boot camp for senior leaders, because we want leaders to know what we’re doing in the Procurement Innovation Lab and how it’s taking off.”