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Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions business owners frequently have regarding their company and the Department of Homeland Security.

A: If your product is ready for market, first try to determine if your product is most likely to be purchased directly by Homeland Security or a state or local government. If your product is a candidate for direct Department of Homeland Security procurement, first you'll want to identify those organizations that might potentially buy what you sell. That can be done by:

  1. Reviewing the information at the Small Business Assistance webpage to get a better understanding of the small business marketing tools and business information available to assist with your marketing efforts.
  2. Reviewing the Forecast of Contract Opportunities to get a better understanding of what each organization intends to buy.
  3. Determining which organizations to market to, then preparing a marketing plan and contacting the appropriate Small Business Specialist by e-mail or phone to introduce your company and by reviewing our How to Do Business with DHS for Small Businesses.
  4. Scheduling a meeting with the Small Business Specialist through the Vendor Outreach Session Program.
  5. Preparing to discuss specific projects or solutions you can provide for the organization.
  6. Following-up with the Small Business Specialist, and reviewing postings of the Current Contract Opportunities, and registering to receive Department of Homeland Security electronic notices through beta.Sam.gov.

In rare cases, firms may have an innovative and unique idea for which submission of an unsolicited proposal may be the right approach. Before beginning this process, however, you should carefully and objectively assess your idea to ensure that it is, in fact, innovative and unique, and that it is not already commercially available to the government. Unsolicited proposals are offered with the intent that the government will enter into a contract with the offeror for research and development or other efforts supporting the Government mission. Additionally, you should research Part 15.6 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which provides simple but specific criteria that must be met before an unsolicited proposal can be reviewed. Once you have reviewed these requirements and made the determination that you have a valid unsolicited proposal, then you should submit your proposal to the most appropriate point of contact.

A: Yes. The Homeland Security Office of Science and Technology offers several programs in the research and development arena. These include opportunities announced as Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects. For additional information, please visit the Business Opportunities page maintained by the Science and Technology Directorate.

A: Homeland Security provides grant funding through several grants programs. Recipients of the grants funding are primarily state and local municipalities. A listing of grant recipients can be found by contacting the individual state homeland security offices in which you have an interest. Marketing your firm's services directly to the grant recipient may enhance your ability to compete for a state or local contracting opportunity.

A: Yes. The Department of Homeland Security components follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

A: Approximately 10 sessions with small businesses. These virtual meetings are scheduled for 15-minutes each.

A: OSDBU is committed to creating opportunities for small businesses. Therefore, four of the sessions are exclusively reserved for women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, small disadvantaged (including 8(a)), and HUBZone small businesses.

A: If you have not met with a DHS Component in the last three months, refer to the DHS VOS Schedule, and follow the instructions on the DHS VOS Scheduling System.

If you have previously met with a DHS component within the last three months, please consider making direct contact with the component small business specialists to schedule a follow-up discussion instead of registering for a VOS. Direct follow-up is preferred and allows for other small businesses to have an opportunity to meet with DHS.

A: Yes, registering within the VOS system—and updating your small business profile—is very important. Small businesses must have a profile created in the DHS VOS Scheduling System. Previous registrants must log in to the system and update their profiles with mandatory information.

A: You must first fill out the DHS Speaker Request Form.

  • Once you have your request form completed, email it as an attachment to DHSOSDBU@hq.dhs.gov.
  • Please submit the speaker request form at least 30 days before the event.
  • Due to the mission and workload of the Department, the speakersbureau@hq.dhs.gov may not be able to accept or support every request.
Last Updated: 04/25/2024
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