The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last Friday awarded the non-profit RAND Corp. a potential $494.7 million contract to operate the new Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), providing the department’s leadership and components with mission level technical and integration expertise.

The HSOAC is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that will replace the current Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute (HSSAI) FFRDC operated by Analytic Services Inc. (ANSER).DHS Logo DHS

In its solicitation last fall, DHS said that the “HSOAC refocuses the existing HSSAI FFRDC with comprehensive and renewed core competencies in operational analyses, but does not change the fundamental purpose or mission of the HSOAC as DHS’s sole studies and analysis FFRDC with continued support to all DHS components across the homeland security enterprise.”

The scope of work for the HSOAC includes acquisition studies, homeland security threat and opportunity studies, organizational studies, regulatory, doctrine and policy studies, operational studies, research and development studies, and innovation and technology acceleration.

After DHS last fall released its plans for the new HSOAC, Stan Soloway, then president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, complained that work to be done by the refocused FFRDC includes functions widely available in the private sector and thus will limit contracting opportunities for companies. Soloway wrote DHS Science and Technology Chief Reginald Brothers last November questioning how DHS could have done comprehensive market research and determined that the work scope within the HSOAC solicitation could only be performed by an FFRDC given that the private sector can perform services such as acquisition, organization, policy and doctrine studies.

DHS originally advertised the estimated ceiling value of the HSOAC contract at $500.3 million. The HSOAC award is the largest RAND has ever won from DHS.

DHS also is supported by another FFRDC, the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (HSSEDI) managed by the MITRE Corp. The HSSEDI serves as the primary systems engineering resource to DHS.