Arthur D. Little Wins $88 Million IRS E-Learning Contract

Arthur D. Little Wins $88 Million IRS E-Learning Contract

By Gail Repsher Emery, Staff Writer

OCT. 19 ? The Internal Revenue Service awarded consulting firm Arthur D. Little Inc. a five-year, $88 million contract to provide a broad range of distance learning services designed to help the agency retool its work force.

The contract is the largest e-learning project awarded by a civilian government agency and positions Arthur D. Little as a leader in the e-learning marketplace, according to the Cambridge, Mass., company. The contract was awarded under the IRS Learning and Workforce Development program.

"This partnership between Arthur D. Little and the IRS can serve as a model for other large e-learning initiatives, positioning ADL for similar e-learning opportunities in the public sector," said Cushing Anderson, analyst for International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass.

Under the agreement, Arthur D. Little and its university partners will deliver undergraduate and graduate level college credit courses to the IRS' 100,000 employees nationwide via online, classroom and interactive video instruction.

ADL will customize courses to improve individual skill levels and organizational performance in 11 areas, including customer service, taxation, communications and information technology.

Arthur D. Little expects to deliver its first customized courses for the IRS in January 2001.

"By tightly linking competencies and coursework to individual and organizational performance, and making the opportunity broadly available to employees through distance learning, the IRS has taken a truly innovative approach to addressing the crucial work force dimension of its modernization effort," said Steve Nichols, vice president and director of Arthur D. Little's public sector management consulting practice.

The opportunity to earn credits, certificates and degrees should also enhance IRS employee recruitment and retention efforts.

"The need to attract, train and retain talented employees is critical to efforts by the Internal Revenue Service to update its technology, improve key business processes and reorganize around a customer-based business model," said Ronald Sanders, chief human resources officer of the IRS.

In addition to delivering distance learning, Arthur D. Little will work closely with its university partners to conduct research and benchmarking studies to continually improve the effectiveness of online course design and delivery for the IRS.

The firm's university partners include the Arthur D. Little School of Management at the University of California at Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center.

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