The Department of Homeland Security established a procurement response team to handle a spike in industry inquiries related to coronavirus, according to an April 1 notice from the department’s chief procurement official.

In the notice to industry, Soraya Correa, chief procurement officer at the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency created the Procurement & Acquisition Innovation Response team “because of the significant surge in inquiries and offers of help that we have been receiving from industry and others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The team is responsible for reviewing, vetting and coordination of coronavirus inquiries, "particularly those that offer new and innovative ideas and solutions,” Correa wrote. The team is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other DHS components, the notice said.

Members of the team include officials with expertise in operational procurement, procurement policy, industry engagement, strategic sourcing and procurement innovation, Correa wrote.

“The COVID-19 PAIR team is ensuring that DHS is maximizing procurement flexibilities and innovative approaches to meet the requirements for COVID-19 response," Correa wrote.

DHS didn’t respond to request for more information regarding the team. The department is home to FEMA, which is the agency leading the federal government’s coronavirus response.

This is the second notice to industry sent by Correa in the last week as the department sought to halt the spread of coronavirus. On March 25, Correa sent a message to contractors outlining new health and safety guidelines at the agency’s St. Elizabeth’s campus.

Also on March 25, the Department of Homeland Security awarded a public health information-sharing platform to improve collaboration with public health partners across the United States.

Andrew Eversden covered all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. Beforehand, he reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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