The DHS Science and Technology Stakeholders conference is underway in Los Angeles, with the emphasis on first responders. Today’s sessions are largely focused on doing business with DHS.

One issue that has gotten a lot of attention is the long range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) 08-01 and how S&T will handle meetings while White Papers are being evaluated.

While S&T’s procedures in dealing with this BAA are still a “work in progress,” two answers this morning have begun to provide some clarity for the private sector. First, they announced that White Paper evaluations will occur on a WEEKLY basis. This does not mean submitters will get an answer within one week, but by meeting on a weekly basis, there is a better chance that a submission will not get lost in the process.

Second, the contracting officer is considering altering their procedures so that meetings with S&T employees can be held up to the point of a “full proposal” submission. This would a (welcome) change from the way this BAA program was first discussed and would better align with the way other agencies handle White Paper submissions.

I suspect there will be further discussion of this topic throughout this week. So be prepared for a myriad of changes before S&T settles on a preferred course of action. It is, after all, DHS we are dealing with – and if there is any “constant” the cynic in me would say that it is either a mistake or that it will change.

David Olive focuses his blogging primarily on the “business of homeland security” — the interaction of the private sector with the Department of Homeland Security and other national security agencies. Read More