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PIL Questions and Answers

Here you will find a series of frequently asked questions and answers about the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL):

What is the PIL and how does it work?

  • Former DHS Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), Soraya Correa and current Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), Paul Courtney, continue to feel strongly that our DHS acquisition community must think critically about how we can enhance the department's mission by providing the most effective and efficient procurement support. Therefore, the DHS Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL) was created in March of 2015. The DHS PIL is an initiative aimed at experimenting with innovative techniques for increasing efficiencies in the procurement process and institutionalizing best practices. The PIL serves as a unique test environment for exploring and refining innovations in acquisition and gives teams an opportunity to showcase success stories to the DHS acquisition community.

How can Industry get involved with the PIL? How do I know if a solicitation I’m proposing on is a “PIL Project”?

  • The PIL often interacts with industry by participating events such as Industry /Reverse Industry Day Events, and individual company capability briefings. The PIL conducts post procurement interviews with solicitors about practices used within their respected procurements.
  • The solicitation will include a statement to inform potential offerors that the procurement is a PIL Project.

Over the long term, how do you hope the PIL will impact how DHS buys goods and services?

  • Over the long term, we would like to make individuals in DHS acquisition community feel they are part of a learning organization. To do that, we must take managed risks and learn from successes and failures. We must actively engage all stakeholders, including the industry partners, to frankly discuss what works well and what does not. A procurement organization with such a transparent and feedback-informed learning culture will improve quickly, which will enhance our ability to fulfill mission.

Where does the PIL fit into DHS organizationally?

  • The PIL reports directly to the Chief Procurement Officer.

How are Projects submitted to the PIL?

  • Submitting a project to the PIL is completely voluntary. The Contracting Officer (CO) or Program Manager (PM) contacts the PIL at pil@hq.dhs.gov. You are asked to complete a one page document highlighting the innovations you will use.
  • We welcome submission ideas from Industry.

Are your Webinars open to the public?

  • Our webinars are currently focused to the DHS workforce. However, there are a limited number of webinars available to the public. Those webinars can be viewed through the Innovation Hub hosted by the Federal Acquisition Institute.

How do you collaborate with the rest of the Government?

  • March 2016, the Office of Management and Budget requested that agencies appoint Acquisition Innovation Advocates and set up Acquisition Innovation Labs to help agencies achieve better results for each taxpayer dollar through better and smarter execution of emerging and well-established acquisition practices. The Acquisition Innovation Advocate Council consists of advocates from each agency as well as an advocate from the Small Agency Council. The council is tasked with meeting regularly to broaden awareness and foster cross-agency collaboration and innovation.

What is a DigiBadge?

  • The digital badge or DigiBadge is currently an internal micro-credential. It’s an online record of achievements. It’s a digital representation that attests to achievement of a specific skill, learning achievement, or experience. We’re using it to highlight our innovators in contracting at DHS.

Contact Us: Do you have an innovative idea or question? We would like to hear from you at pil@hq.dhs.gov

Last Updated: 03/04/2024
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