Request for Proposals on Defense Personnel System Pushed Back

The Navy is delaying by about a month the release of the request for proposals to implement a Department of Defense-wide personnel system, citing the need to make changes in its acquisition strategy, the service announced Nov. 26.

The changes will allow integrators more flexibility in designing solutions for what will be the world's largest personnel system, worth up to $1.5 billion, industry officials said.

The new RFP date for the Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System, or DIMHRS, is expected "no later than" Jan. 2, 2002, almost month beyond the Dec. 10 date estimated by the Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or Spawar, the contracting office.

In a Nov. 26 acquisition strategy memorandum, Spawar highlighted two major changes in the project. One is that the winning contractor will also select the supporting database for the DIMHRS implementation, rather than go with a choice to be competed by the Navy itself.

"What that does is allow integrators more control over the solution," said David Kriegman, senior vice president and director, defense information systems, SRA International Inc., Fairfax, Va. SRA is on a team lead by Computer Sciences Corp., El Segundo, Calif., that is pursuing the contract.

In a separate competition awarded in March, PeopleSoft human resource management software Version 8 was chosen for DIMHRS. PeopleSoft was awarded approximately $6.5 million.

However, the choice of database that will support the software was yet to be determined. Now, according to Kriegman, that will be left to the integrator's discretion.

"If it wants to go with an Oracle solution, that's fine, or with SQL 2000 or another choice, that's fine, too," Kriegman said. "I think that is the best way for the government to get a best-value proposal. The more the integrator has control over the architecture, the better shot it has at making a best-value proposal."

The second change outlined in the acquisition strategy is the three companies chosen as finalists will not have to build prototype systems, as previously indicated in earlier operational requirements documents. Instead, for the first phase of selection, the contractors will be asked to assess cost, schedule and performance risk for system implementation.

DIMHRS sprang from 1997 Defense Department initiative to develop a fully integrated personnel system that will handle all of the active and reserve components of the armed services. Industry observers estimate that the potential value for the integration portion of the contract may run from $500 million to $1.5 billion. The Navy is expected to award the contract by early summer 2002.

Capt. Valerie Carpenter, program manager of DIMHRS, could not be reached for comment.

The acquisition strategy memo, along with other DIMHRS related documents can be found at in the "Headquarters" folder under "Future Opportunity" as solicitation N00039-01-R-1010.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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