Vencore gets $96M to support U.S. immigration agency’s agile development

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The use of lean startup methods by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services got a sizeable boost Thursday: Chantilly, Va.-based contractor Vencore won a $96 million task order to provide the agency with agile development and DevOps services for the rest of the decade and beyond.

Vencore was awarded the five-year task order under the Department of Homeland Security’s Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions contract, otherwise known as  EAGLE II.  The contract will provide USCIS — the DHS agency that issues permanent resident cards and other immigrant documents — with support in architecture and design, continuous integration and continuous delivery, and testing and quality assurance.

“USCIS is a frontrunner in evolving mission-critical systems and technologies to support the government’s efforts to effectively manage immigration services,” Mac Curtis, Vencore president and CEO, said in a release. “Vencore is confident it can provide unparalleled service to USCIS by bringing expertise in portfolio-level agile approaches and collaborative [DevOps].”

USCIS has been high on agile development, especially in regards to its newly redeveloped Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS, which allows people to renew a permanent resident credential (known as a green card) or pay immigrant visa fees online.

With the help of the U.S. Digital Service, USCIS has been working to overhaul the ELIS program. There has been some recent controversy over ELIS due to a November story in the Washington Post that criticized the bloated price tag associated with the modernization efforts.

The ongoing reclamation project, including the use of agile development and DevOps associated with it, impressed some private-sector startup executives who recently visited USCIS.

“It felt and smelled like a Silicon Valley startup,” Barry Crist, CEO of server automation software company Chef, said when he spoke to FedScoop at Amazon Web Services’ re:Invent conference last year.

The task order is the second DHS recently awarded Vencore, with the company being awarded a $43 million IT support contract across the agency’s Federal Protective Service.

Since 2010, Vencore has earned more than $2.2 billion in government contracts as a prime contractor, with another $67.7 million brought in as a subcontractor, according to figures from business intelligence platform Govini.

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found here. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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agile development, Govini, Immigration, USCIS, Vencore
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