DHS procurement head Nick Nayak to step down

Tuesday - 6/17/2014, 4:03pm EDT

Nick Nayak, the chief procurement officer at the Homeland Security Department, is stepping down in early July.

In an email to staff obtained by Federal News Radio, Nayak said he decided to leave after three-and-a-half years for an assortment of reasons including some family needs and the fact that it's time for a change.

Nick Nayak (File photo)

Nayak said he would take a "small break - then [is] headed to [the] commercial sector to help with requirements development. [I] may return to government at some point."

The Washington Business Journal first reported Nayak's decision to leave government.

Nayak likely will leave DHS in the first week of July. It's unclear who will replace him. Dan Clever is the DHS deputy CPO.

Nayak focused on several priorities during his tenure at DHS, including finalizing the EAGLE II multiple award contracts, as well as several other large procurement vehicles that come under the agency's strategic sourcing umbrella initiative.

He also took a strategic view of DHS acquisition. He led the development of the first-ever strategic plan with four priorities: quality people, quality contracting, quality program support and quality industry-government communication. The plan included more than 30 initiatives and 66 performance metrics for all contracting professionals.

Additionally, Nayak said he's proud that DHS has met and exceeded its small business contracting goals for five straight years. He also said he believes the DHS acquisition workforce is in better shape than ever before both from a training perspective and from a succession plan, with 200 interns who graduated from the intern hiring and development initiative.

Nayak's efforts weren't without their challenges. EAGLE II has been beset by multiple protests and delays. It took a lot longer than anyone would have initially thought.

And while communications and relationships between industry and DHS are better than ever before, it wasn't always an easy road. At one point, one of the DHS directorates drafted a checklist that acquisition workers would have to go through before meeting with a contractor. DHS eventually withdrew the draft requirements.

Still, there are few who would argue that Nayak's impact on DHS hasn't been overly positive and improved how the agency buys products and services.

Some experts believe Nayak likely will work in the private sector for a few years and look for the right opportunity to come back to government.

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