NCS Pearson lands $140 million INS contract

NCS Pearson Inc. announced March 5 its government solutions business unit has been chosen by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to manage and operate its National Customer Service Center in Kentucky, with additional operations to open in Kansas and Virginia. The contract is worth $140 million over five years.

Under the contract, NCS Pearson will serve applicants seeking visa or immigration and naturalization information through the centers' services. More than 14 million calls are handled by the NCSC each year, and volume is projected to increase 40 percent over the life of the contract.

Joining NCS Pearson as partners on the INS contract are Booz-Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Va., to provide value engineering; Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., which will provide architecture and design support; Optimos, for implementation and system integration; and Tessada & Associates for bilingual support..

Terry Daley, NCS Pearson program manager for the contract, said the company will employ more than 400 full- and part-time employees in the call centers. The largest part of the work force will be existing employees who already have in-depth knowledge of INS services, Daley said. Some of the staff will be drawn from NCS Pearson employees, while others will be new hires.

Daley said the INS contract is performance-based, with agreements in place to maintain customer service levels. "We have very specific, measurable goals," he said. "We're given flexibility in how we determine the specific work methods in achieving or exceeding those goals."

The announcement of the INS contract award comes two days after Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced that NCS Pearson won a $103.4 million contract to provide an automated Web-based system to assist the Transportation Security Administration in recruiting and hiring more than 30,000 federal security personnel to perform airport screening duties and other responsibilities at U.S. airports

NCS Pearson, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is part of Pearson Education Inc., which is part of Pearson plc, an international media and education company headquartered in London.

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