Launched in 2015, the 20/20 Project on the Homeland Security Enterprise is a five-year initiative of the Council and our pro bono project partner, Grant Thornton. By embracing the concept of 20/20 clarity of vision and using a set of surveys and our National Conversations, the Project provides insights and perspectives from government officials and industry executives as a foundation of information, education, and best practices for the Homeland Security Enterprise leading up to the year 2020. Each year the Project aims to use our surveys and executive programs to bring together government and industry leaders to offer actionable insight, assess the progress made, and examine the remaining challenges facing the Council’s members and government officials who work in the HSE.
Centered on “Shared Vision, Shared Challenges, and Shared Opportunities” between government and industry across the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE), the 2019 report focuses on the promise of innovation and the pain of bid protests in federal government acquisitions supporting the homeland security mission. Building on the insights gained in the first three years of the Project, the 2019 report identified the factors that drive success or failure in acquiring and delivering innovation and influence behavior and decision-making regarding bid protests, as well as how perceptions around protests and innovation impact the homeland security mission. In addition to providing separate recommendations on innovation and protests, the report offers recommendations that address challenges and opportunities underlying both topics:
Improve communication between government and industry earlier in the procurement process on desired mission outcomes, current market capabilities and dynamics, evaluation criteria and appropriate market discriminators;
Design procurements to address mission problems and outcomes instead of acquiring specific solutions;
Design procurements and information sharing to improve industry’s ability to decide when and how to bid and the government’s ability to evaluate bidders; and
Improve training and exercises for technical evaluations, “best value” debriefs, effective communication with industry, and managed risk taking.
For our third report, we focused on “The Business of Homeland Security”, the value of the Homeland Security Industrial Base, and how government and industry can achieve better alignment of processes and tools to build a more effective HSE. During the spring and summer of 2017, we collected insights on the progress made since the Unity of Effort initiative was started; looked at the continuing obstacles to greater collaboration between government and industry before and during the acquisition process; and asked our participants about the challenges that must be overcome to bring innovative processes, management tools, technology, and other products into the mission space.
We convened seven focus group discussions, held one-on-one interviews, and administered an online survey to current and former government officials and industry executives associated with the homeland security mission. In total, more than 200 individuals participated, including representatives from companies that support the HSE; current and former senior government officials from DHS headquarters and its components; and other government agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Office of Management and Budget, and the Intelligence Community. This report was released at our National Conversation February 2018.
Building off of the inaugural survey, the second 20/20 Project report shifts focus to a mission-centric assessment of the broader HSE. Over the course of the fall of 2016, 102 government leaders and industry executives participated via five focus groups, more than a dozen in-person interviews and a web-based survey. Respondents include senior leaders of every DHS component, DHS Headquarters, Departments of State and Justice, Intelligence Community, state and local agencies, and executives from leading firms that support the HSE.
To help inform the new administration that will bring its own priorities, survey participants described a strong and maturing foundation to build on, including numerous examples of mission and management programs that they believe should continue and receive greater emphasis, as well as others that should be reconsidered.
The report was released at our National Conversation December 2016.
In its first year, the 20/20 Project focused on The Mission Imperative: Securing the Homeland through Improved Collaboration and Engagement across the Enterprise. Coordinated with Council member Grant Thornton, our initial survey was released at our Symposium & National Conversation in November 2015, and drew upon interviews with nearly 70 senior leaders from DHS and industry to provide a baseline assessment of DHS management and operational issues as part of the Secretary’s Unity of Effort initiative.