The Department of Homeland Security hosted its seventh Reverse Industry Day on November 7th, with focus on “Industry Insights: Promoting Collaboration to Advance the Mission.” The event offered a forum for engagement between DHS’ Office of the Chief Procurement Officer and industry, with panel topics addressing: Industry Perspectives on Multi-Step Proposal Evaluations and Techniques, Value of Kickoff Meetings, and Mitigating the Impact of a Lapse in Appropriations.

Olin Green, VariQ’s SVP of Service Delivery, participated as a panelist for the session addressing the value of kickoff meetings. This panel highlighted the importance of structuring communications between government and industry, and facilitating communications between their counterparts. The benefit of initiating dialogue early on was identified for issue resolution and to develop paths for issue escalation, as well as for understanding the roles and responsibilities of individuals concerned and establishing clear lines of communication, as well as identifying the appropriate frequency for communications.

Green addressed the importance of leveraging kickoff meetings to identify what comprises success—from a quality perspective—within a given contractual environment. He proposed that engaging in CPAR discussions at these meetings affords a helpful venue for understanding from the onset how vendors can not only fulfill minimal contractual requirements, but achieve exceptional performance ratings on their CPARs. Such discussions would enable stakeholders to define the criteria for success, thereby empowering vendors to strive for exceptional performance and build a culture of excellence. 

Olin Green commented on the value of DHS Reverse Industry Days: “I would like to commend Soraya Correa (Chief Procurement Officer, DHS) for her vision of the importance of engagement between industry and government, evident in her pioneering of this reverse industry concept which has proven to be successful. These events have been beneficial in promoting dialogue and collaboration between industry and government, which supports and advances best practices and mission goals.”