Why Perfection is Now Key on CDM
September 12, 2016 Leave a comment
By Jenni Taylor, Contract Programs Manager
A significant, if not major, change is underfoot at the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program.
It involves “Attachment R,” which CDM contractors submit when adding a new product or capability to the program. Items are added all the time as CDM moves from phase to phase and from requirement to requirement. If the government found errors in Attachment R, the contractor was able to make corrections, resubmit, and have their capability reconsidered.
No more. DHS sent out notice last week alerting contractors that “Revised Attachment R” is being removed from the open season process. What this means is vendors will no longer be able to correct an Attachment R once it’s been submitted to DHS for review.
The change is understandable from the government’s perspective as a string of revisions and updates can be confusing and hard to track. Eliminating revisions to Attachment R will streamline the process of adding products and capabilities to this $6 billion, 5-year cybersecurity program.
But for the contracting community, the change sounds daunting. It means that CDM contract holders and suppliers are under pressure to make sure their Attachment R’s are perfect. Not nearly perfect, but perfect. Not having the chance to make revisions will make or break a submission.
Striving for perfection on such a complex program that’s already in its third year doesn’t have to be as challenging as it sounds. Several resources exist to help guide contractors through the process, including the DHS notes sent to contractors clarifying Attachment R requirements.
immixGroup’s in-house CDM team also has extensive knowledge of the program and its requirements. We developed a detailed reference guide that makes sure Attachment R’s are 100 percent accurate. The submission also goes through extensive reviews by our account and enterprise programs teams. The prime also does its own analysis before sending it off to the CDM program office.
During the 2016 Q4 open season, immixGroup submitted 14 suppliers (that completed the revised Attachment R) to the CDM primes for consideration. If approved, they would add products supporting Phase 3—Operate, Monitor, and Improve (OMI) capabilities to the program. They would also bring our portfolio of CDM IT suppliers to more than 50. So we know what it takes to meet the program’s requirements.