Ad Hoc and DHS FLASH

July 26, 2017

In November 2016, Ad Hoc was one of small group of companies selected as awardees on the Department of Homeland Security’s FLASH (FLexible Agile Support for the Homeland) contract. We were incredibly honored to have been selected, and very excited for the opportunity to work with DHS and help with their critical mission.

Unfortunately, after about nine months, and two rounds of protests, DHS determined that they had to cancel the FLASH procurement. While we were disappointed in the outcome, we understand DHS’s rationale. But greater than our disappointment is our sense of thankfulness to DHS. Government, and especially government procurement, is an inherently risk-averse environment. DHS took a real risk in putting out the FLASH procurement to get new kinds of companies involved in the door. We appreciate the amount of work and the challenges DHS undertook, and although we’re dismayed that FLASH itself did not work out, we hope that DHS, and other agencies, will continue to push forward and innovate in government procurement. There is too much at risk to stand idly by the status quo.

Ad Hoc and several of the other DHS FLASH awardees got together after FLASH was cancelled. We consoled each other, but also felt it important to continue moving forward. We resolved to write an open letter to DHS, thanking them for the opportunity and encouraging them to continue to lead and innovate in federal IT procurement. That letter is now published, and available online.

We founded Ad Hoc after witnessing first hand the failed launch of HealthCare.gov. From the beginning, our mission has been to bring the very best in software development, design, and product management to government IT. Many agencies, such as DHS, CMS, and VA, have recognized there is a better way to build government IT solutions, and we see more and more moving in this direction every day. While we’re disappointed by the conditions in the government contractor market that led to FLASH’s protest and cancellation, we’re confident that the changes it recognizes are here to stay. We’re here to stay as well, and look forward to working with DHS, and any other agency, that wants to embrace a better way of building government services.

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