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Update: DHS CBP’s Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) Program

June 2012

Mr. Mark Borkowski, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition (OTIA) with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), recently updated DSJ on the status of the son-of-SBINet Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) program.  While IFT is in source selection, and Mr. Borkowski and other CBP officials are accordingly circumspect, DSJ can provide the following update:

1)      Industry proposals in response to the IFT RFP (see Integrated Fixed Tower RFP.pdf) are in as of 30 May 2012 and CBP is satisfied with the “significant” response.  (Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Telephonics are among the contractors rumored to have submitted IFT proposals.)

2)      While CBP had planned a 90-day turnaround resulting in a source selection in late August, CBP is leaving itself room to extend this schedule and cautions against assuming a hard closing date for an announcement.

3)      CBP source selection officials may elect to engage in “discussions” – either oral or written – with all IFT bidders as part of the source selection process.  CBP may also determine that only some bidders are “within the competitive range” and narrow the focus of those companies that are asked for revised proposals. 

4)      CBP anticipates selecting multiple bidders to provide contractor-funded System Maturity and Deployment Capability Demonstrations (SMDCD).  CBP may ask that these demos be executed within as little as two weeks post-source selection.

5)      CBP foresees the SMDCDs as informing its selection of single contractor to build and deploy IFT.  Citing the current austere budget environment and the challenges and costs associated with operating and sustaining multiple IFT designs, Mr. Borkowski notes that multiple IFT production awards would be “extraordinarily unlikely.”

6)      Mr. Borkowski anticipates that the Fiscal Year (FY13) budget may not be in place by October 1st at the start of fiscal year, but notes that the IFT program can commence even under a Continuing Resolution (CR) as IFT is/was a “prior year start” and because the program has “multi-year funding.”

7)      The recently-released 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan includes IFT in its identification of enabling systems and IFT program planning and objectives are consistent with the strategy and approach outlined in the plan.

8)      As to the funding outlook for the IFT program, while House and Senate Appropriators have supported the FY13 PRESBUD request, Borkowski notes that proposals to rescind prior year balances effectively reduces the FY13 appropriations.  As to the potential impact of program funding cuts and/or sequestration, CBP has the option/contingency plan of simply slowing IFT deployment pace consistent with available funding.  


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