Security is the flavor of the month in government sector

Numerous contract projects available for security installers and manufacturers alike
Thursday, July 1, 2004

WASHINGTON - Lately, it’s the talk of the town. Opportunities for security companies in the government sector are sprouting up and it’s not just for large companies. Does the U.S. Visit program and the G8 Summit ring a bell? This market for security installers and manufacturers is wide open and full of opportunities for the taking.

That was evident in mid-June at the Security Industry Association’s Government Sales and Marketing Summit held to provide information on possibilities in the government market. And the opportunities available are plenty.

“I think that (the market) has been building up for some time,” said Edward Correia, an attorney with Latham & Watkins.

The jobs in the government market are not just up for grabs in the federal side - opportunities also exist in the local and state market, although funds might be a bit tougher to come by.

“It has taken a while for funds to filter down to state and local governments,” Correia said.

Current areas of high contract development are found in visual security projects, site access controls and entry access systems, usually on a subcontracting basis with prime contractors - which may be better for smaller companies since the regulations for government subcontractors are less stringent than the guidelines for prime contractors. But there are other avenues to search, as well.

Correia said “a lot of people say asset tracking” is up and coming in government needs.

Regardless of the arena a company plays in, many industry members argue that larger, more established companies have a better chance of grabbing a piece of government funding, but experts say there may be a loophole.

“I think large businesses have a leg up,” Correria said. “For small businesses, you need to have a unique solution.”

Cathy Mrosko, associate director of industry groups and government affairs for SIA, said information on government opportunities is high on requests from the security association’s members.

“We have heard over the last few days that the government market is the largest you can get into,” she said.

“This is definitely a market where, by talking to members, is one of the top things they have requested,” Mrosko said.