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DHS Strategic Sourcing - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is strategic sourcing?

Strategic sourcing is a collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an organization’s procurement spend and using this information to make business decisions about acquiring and managing commodities and services more effectively and efficiently.

2. Why has DHS implemented strategic sourcing?

Strategic sourcing is a proven industry and government best practice that saves money, reduces redundancy, drives standardization, streamlines procurements, and improves business efficiency.  DHS has implemented strategic sourcing consistent with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum entitled Implementing Strategic Sourcing dated May 20, 2005. 

3. What strategic sourcing contract vehicles are available?

DHS has over 60 strategic sourcing vehicles available that cover a wide range of commodities and services.  The specific vehicles available at any given time vary as new ones are awarded and current ones expire.  The current list of strategic sourcing vehicles is available on the DHS Strategic Sourcing webpage.

4.  How are strategic sourcing initiatives selected, and who makes the decision? 

New opportunities are identified through spend analysis, Efficiency Review suggestions, requests from a Chief Executive Officer (CXO), or suggestions from other stakeholders.  The DHS Strategic Solutions Office (SSO) then conducts an assessment to determine the viability of the opportunity and whether it should move forward as an initiative.  If so, SSO documents its recommendation in a business case which requires approval by the program office, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), and the Office of Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO).

5. What is DHS’s track record for implementing strategic sourcing?

DHS has been recognized by OMB, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and several members of Congress as a leading implementer of strategic sourcing contract vehicles within the Federal Government.  DHS has saved over $2 billion since 2005 through the use of strategic sourcing.

6.  Are strategic sourcing vehicles mandatory for use? 

Yes.  To increase utilization of strategic sourcing vehicles, the Under Secretary for Management issued Directive 060-01 on August 24, 2012 making DHS strategic sourcing contract vehicles mandatory for use, with limited exceptions.  The exceptions specified in the Directive are: (1) Emergency operations, (2) National security, (3) Remote locations, (4) Greater savings/lower prices, (5) Required by statute, and (6) Sources specified by regulation.  If none of the exceptions apply and the strategic sourcing vehicle is not the best method for meeting the requirement, a waiver request including justification must be sent to OCPO for review and approval.  

7. Do certain products and services lend themselves favorably to strategic sourcing?

The current portfolio of initiatives includes a wide array of products and services.  As long as the product/service is procured by multiple Components within DHS, it could be considered as a possible initiative for strategic sourcing. 

8.  Are small businesses being considered in the department-wide strategic sourcing efforts?

Yes. Over the last five years, 34% of the dollars spent through DHS strategic sourcing vehicles went to small businesses, exceeding the overall department average of 31%.  Many strategic sourcing contract vehicles are full or partial small business set asides. DHS includes the OSDBU in the review of strategic sourcing business cases and development of procurement strategies.

9. Does DHS use Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) contract vehicles? 

Yes. DHS actively participates in the development and utilization of FSSI initiatives.  DHS includes FSSI initiatives in its portfolio of strategic sourcing contract vehicles that are “mandatory for use with limited exceptions.”

10. Are there any risks to DHS’s mission by implementing strategic sourcing?

Each new strategic sourcing initiative is carefully planned and executed by both acquisition and subject matter experts in order to minimize procurement and performance risks, as well as risks to DHS’s mission during implementation.  Once established, strategic sourcing contract vehicles improve timeliness of delivery and performance – thereby reducing risks to fulfilling mission needs.  Strategic sourcing also supports the DHS Secretary’s Unity of Effort initiative. 

Contact Us

To contact us regarding a Strategic Sourcing Vehicle or future initiative, please email SSOInquiry@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 10/22/2021
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