Where E-Gov Money Goes<@VM>Congress Loosens Purse Strings<@VM>eFederal Wins GSA Schedule Slot<@VM>Sytel Launches AF Data Portal<@VM>Unisys Tapped for GSA Pilot<@VM>CACI, Booz-Allen Win Work<@VM>Report: Reform Procurement Regs<@VM>AppliedTheory Wins Job Bank Job<@VM>Tax Systems Collect Praise<@VM>Integrators Build Education Portals
Congressional leaders have released $200 million for Internal Revenue Service modernization efforts in fiscal 2001, despite earlier threats to withhold the funds.
The money will help pay for work being performed by Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif., under the IRS Prime Integration Contract the company won in late 1998.
Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., told Washington Technology Nov. 9 that funding for the IRS project might be held up during the lame duck session of Congress because President Clinton had vetoed the Treasury appropriations bill. But Nov. 28, leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations committees released $200 million, noting that the IRS has made significant progress on the modernization project.
The money will be spent on strategy for systems development, architecture engineering activities, completion of a tax calculation software package and other infrastructure projects.eFederal, a government e-procurement technology and services company, was awarded a General Services Administration Federal Supply Service schedule contract for information technology services, company officials said.
The contract provides federal, state and local agencies with another vehicle to purchase eFederal's products and services such as computer hardware, software and office supplies.
"Government agencies have been exploring new procurement methods for some time," said Dewey Carr, eFederal's director of government solutions.
eFederal, based in Washington, entered the government market in July. The company has partnered with industry players such as Arthur Andersen, IBM Corp. and Ingram Micro Inc.Sytel Inc., Bethesda, Md., has launched a pilot Web site for the Air Force that will consolidate data from hundreds of legacy systems into a single point of access for service officials.
The pilot phase of the project, which is worth $1 million to Sytel, is focusing on the installations and logistics community of the Air Force, officials with Sytel said. During 2001, the pilot will be expanded to other user communities, including the Air Force's major commands.
The Web site, called My.AirForce.mil, will give users access to information in seconds that has taken days or weeks to obtain, said Val Lyons, Sytel president.
"Air Force senior management has put this portal on a fast track for development and implementation," said Lt. Gen. John L. Woodward Jr., the Headquarters Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Information.The General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service awarded Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa., a task order to develop and integrate a pilot customer relationship management system.
Unisys will implement Siebel eBusiness application software in some of GSA's sales offices in the United States and Europe. Unisys is a strategic partner of Siebel Systems Inc. of San Mateo, Calif.
The pilot program is scheduled to begin in February and will provide a consolidated view and analysis capability of historical customer buying information, customer contact and opportunity information, and market research. If successful, GSA could expand it to up to 900 seats throughout the agency.CACI International Inc. and Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. each have won a place on a contract to provide technical, engineering, fabrication and operations support to the Army's Communications-Electronics Command Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate.
The two companies will compete for task orders under the five-year, $500 million contract. Booz-Allen of McLean, Va., and CACI of Arlington, Va., will provide scientific and engineering support to meet the directorate's objectives for modernizing Army intelligence and information systems and capabilities.
Work under the contract includes developing prototypes of systems and solutions for the Army's continued evolution toward more agile, versatile and rapidly deployable forces as part of the Army transformation initiative.
This includes researching, prototyping and developing systems for intelligence collection, electronic combat capabilities to counter both conventional and new cyberweapons, and offensive information warfare systems as well as protecting defense and national systems.The government information technology industry may benefit from recommendations by the Defense Science Board to revamp the way the government buys weapons systems. Policies that guide these purchases are weakening the defense industry, according to a new report the board released in late November.
Because many of the procurement regulations the board wants changed also dictate how the rest of the government buys goods and services, including IT, any changes would have an impact beyond the defense industry, said Philip Odeen, vice chairman of the science board and the leader of the task force that wrote the report. Odeen also is executive vice president of Washington operations for TRW Inc. of Cleveland.
The report recommends the government rely more on "share-in-savings" clauses in contracts. Under most contracts, the vendor has no incentive to find cheaper ways to perform its work because the government keeps all of the savings.
The report also recommends that companies be allowed to earn a higher profit margin on successful contracts, especially when cost, schedule and performance goals are met.AppliedTheory Corp. of New York won an $82 million contract to host and enhance the Web site for America's Job Bank, the world's largest job bank. AppliedTheory developed and has hosted the Job Bank site since its inception in 1995.
America's Job Bank is a 20-year-old labor exchange network developed by the Labor Department and state employment service offices. In addition to hosting and related services, AppliedTheory will develop enhancements for the Job Bank's One Stop Operating System, which allows state agencies to share information online easily and without high infrastructure costs.
The market for online job sites is expected to reach $1.7 billion and account for 20 percent of classified advertising employment budgets by 2003, according to Forrester Research. As the world's largest job bank, America's Job Bank posts about 1.4 million resumes and another 1.4 million job openings for government and private sector positions. The site receives 5 million hits a day.
By comparison, Monster.com, the second-largest online employment database, posts approximately 448,000 job openings and 2.4 million unique visitors per month.Efforts by the states to simplify their tax systems and collect revenue from Internet sales could spur major technology companies to acquire smaller vendors that specialize in tax collection technology, according to a November study by Forrester Research Inc.
Eroding tax bases and the fear of additional revenue losses from e-commerce are driving states to simplify their tax systems, according to the study, "Making Net Sales Tax Pay."
One of the chief recommendations of the study is that large systems integrators and Big Five accounting firms should consider acquiring tax collection companies, such as esalestax.com Inc. of Englewood, Colo., or Taxware International Inc. of Salem, Mass., before their prices go up.
"Getting involved in tax collection automation will make up for revenues their tax practices will miss out on once states ease compliance burdens on retailers, reducing sellers' need for accountants," write the authors.Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., and Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego are both developing Web-based education portals in an effort to win a $600 million Army distance learning contract.
Army University Access Online will allow soldiers to earn college credits, degrees and technical certificates while they serve, at little or no cost to them. Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Hood, Texas, have been selected to first implement the online education program. The contract is expected to be awarded next month.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, N.Y., formed an alliance with Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif., and PSINet Inc. of Ashburn, Va., to develop the EduXchange distance learning environment, which will be accessible at www.educ8x.com in January.
SAIC's portal (www.armyu.com) is operational. The systems integrator's team includes click2learn.com, a distance learning firm based in Bellevue, Wash., and more than 100 academic partners.