The Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $1.1 million contract to Silver Spring, Md.-based GovReady Public Benefit Corporation to develop tools that help companies breaking into the federal IT market get the software certification and accreditation they need.
For companies to be able to sell software to federal agencies, they must fulfill extensive certification and accreditation — C&A — requirements to demonstrate their compliance with information security standards. In a release announcing the contract, DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate, known as S&T, called the C&A process “complex and challenging to navigate” in its current form.
“The C&A process is key to running software on any government network, yet the challenges are well-known,” DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology Reginald Brothers said in a statement. “S&T is working to simplify and improve the C&A process to help businesses gain access to the government market.”
The contract, which will support GovReady’s open source effort, was awarded through the department’s Homeland Open Security Technology program which is administered by S&T’s cybersecurity division.
Dan Massey, HOST’s program manager said the C&A process was “unnecessarily difficult” for small businesses to navigate, and that the efforts of GovReady would give startups and other small businesses a better shot at competing at the federal level.
“The C&A process is essential,” Massey said. “This project will help to even the playing field between large and small business by giving everyone an opportunity to provide software to the government.”