DHS pushes to pause contracting deadlines until government opens

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Chris Cummiskey, former acting Homeland Security undersecretary and CEO of Cummiskey Strategic Solutions, outlines why DHS is holding contract deadlines for the time being, and why it’s important to have “predictability.”


The Department of Homeland Security is pausing its acquisition activity. According to chief procurement officer Soraya Correa, vendors will have one additional week to respond to requests after the partial government shutdown ends. Chris Cummiskey, former acting DHS undersecretary and CEO of Cummiskey Strategic Solutions, says that because DHS is trying to keep stability as well as they can.

“At a time when we have a lot of chaos and uncertainty, what DHS is trying to do is provide predictability coming out of the shutdown on the procurement front,” Cummiskey said.

That predictability is becoming more difficult to deliver as the shutdown continues. Cummiskey told Government Matters that most of the support staff are furloughed, which could have major ramifications on completing the agency’s missions.

“That’s the hidden wreckage of what’s behind the scenes right now at the management lines of business. The IT, the HR, the procurement, the finance folks, they’re all furloughed right now. You really need that mission support to make sure that the department and other agencies are delivering that kind of front line capability. With those folks home during this period of time it becomes very choppy, especially on the 34th day. It will only get worse.”