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DIA’s Suzanne White: Updated Web Database Transforms Agency’s Contract Process

One agency can’t do it alone. That was the overarching thrust of Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Suzanne White’s remarks at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2023 Intel Summit on Thursday. White acknowledged the existing collaborations with In-Q-Tel, the Defense Innovation Unit, NASA, small businesses, a research laboratory at the University of Maryland and more, but she spent most of her time onstage imploring the audience of largely government contracting professionals to reach out and help solve problems alongside the agency.

“DIA relies heavily on our partnerships with our allies, our sister agencies and everyone here in order to meet our challenges. Whether it’s developing cutting edge solutions that help us protect our people, data and facilities, or seizing an opportunity to leverage a new technology that may advance our operational capabilities,” White explained.

If you’re interested in questions of acquisition and how the government is attempting to work closely with industry, you’ll get a lot out of the acquisition-focused panel at the upcoming Nov. 15th Homeland Security Summit. The discussion will feature CISA’s David Patrick, among others. Register here now; tickets are going fast.

The DIA deputy director promoted recent updates to DIA’s website, which she hopes will make contracting processes and partnership opportunities easier and more frequent.

The updates include a revamped request for proposal methodology, which is part of the organization’s NeedipeDIA offering. This database “simplifies our engagements with industry and academia by facilitating our friendly communication in a secure and repeatable way,” according to White.

NeedipeDIA utilizes broad agency announcements and commercial solutions opening authorities to communicate the needs (hence the moniker) of the agency, in an unclassified manner. These clear declarations of capabilities sought are linked directly to the officials who generated the request, which White said “is the most important thing for you to know.” It is the DIA’s hope that this will streamline the pre-award process and render it more accessible.

“When a potential offerer submits a white paper, it is reviewed by the mission owners who identify the initial need and who [are] ultimately involved in any selection process,” White detailed, adding, “I’m happy to say that recent modernization efforts have made the NeedipeDIA platform more user friendly by adding intuitive features to ease the submission process for prospective offerers.”

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