E-Gov: Beneath the surface, a Washington Technology Special Report

<@VM>20 upcoming projects worth more than $8 billion<@VM>OMB's e-gov initiatives<@VM>NSF's 'green' the envy of others

E-gov czar Mark Forman has surprised many in government and industry with the progress he's made in e-government. He's also helping OMB exert more control over the $52 billion federal IT budget.

(Washington Technology photo by Henrik G. de Gyor)

How big is the e-government opportunity for integrators?

Judging by the $5 million the White House is spending on its much-ballyhooed 24 initiatives, not very.

But those projects are just the tip of the iceberg ? models and catalysts for more ambitious, big-dollar programs on the horizon.

We uncover real opportunities for making money.

This month the e-government team at the Agriculture Department presented to the agency's leadership the business cases for 12 new e-gov initiatives that will mirror some of the 24 cross-agency initiatives overseen by the Office of Management and Budget.

For example, Agriculture's plans include a Web portal for access to all department information and services, departmentwide implementation of electronic authentication tools and an electronic system for grants applications and awards.

"The idea is to get our hands around some projects that are manageable and can set the stage for conducting e-gov in the future," said Dennis Egan, an information technology specialist at Agriculture.

The department, a partner on 18 of OMB's 24 projects, will capitalize upon its involvement in the OMB initiatives as it moves forward with the 12 new projects, Egan said.

Agriculture's enthusiasm for e-gov is one of many signs that the 24 initiatives ? ranging from a governmentwide electronic payroll system to business compliance via the Web ? have fueled new interest in e-gov and cross-agency collaboration. In fact, industry experts said the projects are just the tip of the iceberg for e-government opportunities.

The 24 initiatives are "only phase one of where they are going," said Ira Kirsch, president of the U.S. Federal Government Group of Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, Pa. "This is going to evolve into knowledge management, data warehousing, data intelligence. As we create this new environment, it will set out a whole new wave of initiatives. The prospects are endless."

Other industry executives agreed, saying many current and upcoming projects might not be called "e-gov," but they are just that: programs that combine technology and improved business processes to improve services to citizens and business and make government operations more efficient.

One such project is the Resource Ordering and Status System developed by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. for the National Wildfire Coordination Group.

"It fits the definition, but there is no one calling it an e-government application," said Paul Condit, Lockheed Martin's ROSS program manager.

The Web-enabled application will allow federal, state and local firefighter organizations to quickly locate and deploy people and equipment to combat major wildfires. The application integrates data across agencies and makes operations more efficient, Condit said. ROSS cost about $4.7 million to design and develop; follow-on contracts for deployment and maintenance are worth about $2.2 million annually.

Another example is the electronic document imaging system installed by Vredenburg Co. for the U.S. International Trade Commission. The Reston, Va., company won the $2 million deal for secure electronic filing, searching and retrieving of documents.

American Management Systems Inc. is the prime contractor on a $10.3 million e-recruiting solution for the Navy, called NRAMS, that will help recruiters manage leads; once candidates enlist, it will help determine the best job match. The system will help supervisors shift resources and change recruiting strategies as needed, Fairfax, Va.-based AMS said.

Looking ahead, Lockheed Martin executive Tom Oles pointed to the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Entry-Exit System, which will verify and record the identities of persons entering and leaving the United States and interoperate with multiple government and commercial databases. Lockheed Martin is pursuing the $380 million contract, which should be awarded next month.

"A core piece of that [project] is e-gov, doing work online and developing the infrastructure to support that mission. E-gov is not just the 24 initiatives OMB has laid out, but it is really a component of almost every IT project we are operating in," said Oles, vice president of business development for Lockheed Martin Information Technology.

Expanding Opportunities

Mark Forman, the administration's e-gov czar, pointed to a number of important e-gov projects that are not part of OMB's 24 initiatives, including the Customs Service's International Trade Data System, an integrated governmentwide system for the electronic collection, use and dissemination of international trade data.

Forman said he's also watching closely the larger Customs Modernization project led by IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y. An initial $1.3 billion deal with a $5 billion ceiling, it is designed to modernize the systems that businesses use to ship goods into and out of the United States. IBM will hold competitions to add features such as personnel systems, enterprise resource planning implementations and case management systems.

The Customs projects are just one of many e-gov programs that are not part of the 24 OMB initiatives. Projects that are still in their formative stages include the Army's Human Resources 21st Century Services contract, worth an estimated $1.5 billion, and the Postal Service's $400 million Contact Center contract. (See list of projects.)

These business opportunities fit what Forman often emphasizes ? the need to simply and unify the government's business processes and IT systems, eliminating redundant functions and putting federal IT dollars to more productive use. But Forman disputed the notion that efforts to simplify and unify government systems will mean less IT spending.

"I've heard from a couple of vendors that there may be concern that our consolidation seems like it's just going to cut IT spending," he said. "We are not looking to cut IT spending; we are looking to consolidate, to make government easier and more responsive to the citizens."

There is plenty of work for contractors, said Forman, associate director for IT and e-government in the Office of Management and Budget. Many IT vendors agreed.

"There is no lack of opportunities," said Steven Perkins, senior vice president of public-sector and homeland security for Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores, Calif. "Grants management, constituent support and war fighting: That's where we ought to be spending money, not in back office systems. [Vendors] will increasingly be judged by the contribution we make to the program ? better financial information, faster turnaround time ? not IT dollars. That's what will get us the next opportunity."

OMB's Extensive reach

OMB's efforts to simplify and unify extend Forman's reach to IT projects well beyond the 24 e-government initiatives. OMB has required agencies to submit extensive business cases for each major IT investment, including plans for IT security. It has required agencies to outline their enterprise architectures and to work collaboratively on the 24 cross-agency initiatives.

"There is a $52 billion federal IT budget. Mark Forman and the OMB team, I think, are having more influence on how those dollars are being spent through their enterprise architecture reviews and business case reviews," Oles said. "If [agencies] do have the supporting enterprise architecture and business case, OMB is basically approving funds. If they don't have those things, they are asking agencies to [revise] ? giving [OMB] more influence in the federal IT marketplace than they previously had."

If agency business cases don't measure up, OMB can withhold funds, essentially killing a project. Agencies submitted 900 business cases this year; 400 were put on a high-risk list because of deficiencies, but most are off OMB's kill list now, Forman said.

OMB also rates agency e-gov programs twice annually through the President's Management Agenda scorecard, which uses a stoplight scoring approach: green, yellow and red ratings. Industry and government sources said the rating system, while simplistic, has provided a powerful incentive.

"It's amazing what a little color will do to get people moving toward a goal. It's been a real driver to get us to work together, to move forward in a corporate kind of way," Egan said.

"Red doesn't sit well with agency management," said Gene Kakalec, vice president of business development for the government solutions unit of Herndon, Va.-based Northrop Grumman IT.

Getting agencies moving on e-government is no mean feat. Many in government and industry were optimistic, yet skeptical, that Forman could pull off widespread change. The former Senate staffer and Unisys and IBM executive returned to government work just more than a year ago, amid calls from members of Congress and IT industry executives that his position should be Senate-confirmed and control a large e-government budget.

But many have been surprised by Forman's progress.

"I've been impressed by what he's been able to do ? build a coalition across all these agencies. I think it is a very different day across government," said Cathy Hirsh, vice president of the information technology consulting practice at AMS.

Forman "understands what the end game is: making government more reachable through IT," said Larry Den, senior vice president of information technology at Vredenburg. "He is very focused on not getting caught up in history or turf. It might take longer than he wants to stay there slogging it out, but he just goes at a frenetic pace."

Making e-gov automatic

Asked if contractors are making money from e-government projects, Barry Ingram responded, "Everybody is."

The Electronic Data Systems Corp. executive noted that the Plano, Texas, firm is the prime contractor on a huge e-government project: the eight-year, $6.9 billion Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.

"We're basically replacing the infrastructure for the Navy and Marine Corps and installing 360,000 seats for them so they can all talk to each other," said Ingram, senior vice president of EDS U.S. Government Solutions.

There are plenty of opportunities for small firms, too, Ingram said.

"A lot of small companies have come to bear on e-government," Ingram said. "They can get involved by doing Web development and things that maybe the government doesn't have the expertise that they need at this moment in time."

E-government presented a $30 million opportunity for Vienna, Va., firm SiloSmashers Inc. at the General Services Administration. After the GSA was named manager of five of the 24 initiatives, department staff proposed that the agency create an e-gov program office to tie the five projects together with a common infrastructure and support services, said Lew Sanford, GSA's e-gov program office manager. SiloSmashers won the primary contract for program office services, including project management support and business analysis.

"These five initiatives cross so many boundaries, it is critical to make sure coordination and collaboration goes on. The value we provide is to make sure we get the business right before we throw technology at it," said Angela Drummond, president and chief executive officer of SiloSmashers.

It's only a matter of time before e-government becomes automatic, Ingram said.

"You needed this kind of a set of initiatives, and you needed Mark Forman to kick this all off," he said. "At some point, this will become the way we do business, and you won't need an e-gov czar. The initiatives were important to get it going, but they are just a stake in the ground."

"E-gov is not just the 24 initiatives OMB has laid out, but it is really a component of almost every IT project." | Tom Oles of Lockheed Martin

"There is no lack of opportunities. Grants management, constituent support and war fighting: That's where we ought to be spending money." | Steven Perkins of Oracle Corp.

This list of 20 e-gov opportunities is based on several criteria. The projects either are in the pre-request for
proposal stage or represent ongoing business opportunities.

The projects also include a re-engineering of business processes and not simply the adding of computers to a government function. The projects include one or more of the following applications: Internet, intranet or portal
solutions, e-procurement, customer relationship management, knowledge management, workflow and document management and electronic content or information delivery.

A few of the 24 OMB e-gov initiatives are included in this list because they are either too important to ignore or are a ripening business opportunity.

Agriculture Department

Project: Processed Commodity Inventory Management System

Value: $12.2 million budgeted for the system in 2002, $12.5 million in 2003

Status: Request for proposals expected this summer.

Purpose: Agricultural Marketing Service, Food and Nutrition Service and the Farm Service Agency want to modernize the Processed Commodity Inventory Management System that supports the three agencies. The system is used to allocate, distribute and track more than $1.6 billion of commodities purchased each year to support domestic food programs.

Potential bidders: EDS is the incumbent contractor. Others may include AMS, Accenture, Anteon, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSC, IBM, KPMG Consulting, Northrop Grumman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAIC and Unisys.

Contact: Gary Batko, program office (202) 720-4353


Project: Human Resource 21st Century Services

Value: $1.5 billion

Status: RFP for multiple-award contract expected by end of August.

Purpose: The system under the Army Personnel Command will provide assistance to personnel, their families and civilian employees who are leaving the Army.

Potential bidders: Northrop Grumman and Resource Consultants Inc. hold the incumbent contract.

Contacts: Susan Harvey, program office (703) 602-2773, or Katie Cohen, program office (703) 602-3910

Customs Service

Project: Customs Modernization

Value: $5 billion

Status: IBM, which was awarded the prime contract in April 2001, is responsible for managing competitions over the 15-year life of the contract to purchase new systems and services, such as personnel systems, enterprise resource planning implementations and case management systems.

Purpose: Modernize and re-engineer the systems that businesses use to ship goods into and out of the United States.

Potential bidders: Members of IBM's team include Booz Allen Hamilton, CSC, ITS Services, KPMG Consulting, Lockheed Martin and Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services.

Contact: Michael Rebain, contracting office (202) 927-0598

Environmental Protection Agency

Project: Acquisition Management System

Value: N/A

Status: RFP expected June 2003.

Purpose: Replace the current acquisition system with a Web-enabled system.

Potential bidders: AMS, Computer Associates, Informatica, Mobius Management Systems and Object Technology Information Specialists.

Contact: Denny Daniel, program office (202) 564-4336

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Project: Web-based Electronic Business Re-engineering

Value: N/A

Status: RFP expected this summer.

Purpose: FDIC is looking for support for a large-scale, multiyear effort to Web-enable and re-engineer business processes.

Potential bidders: IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, KPMG, ISSA Inc., Global Computer Enterprises Inc., Informix, Kronos Inc., EBS Inc., FC Business Solutions, American Systems Corp., SI International, Hewlett-Packard, Booz Allen Hamilton, Aspect Communications, Dell Computer.

Contact: Tom Harris, contracting office (202) 942-3112

General Services Administration

Project: E-authentication

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released July 12, responses due Aug. 8; RFP expected in September. This is one of OMB's 24 e-gov initiatives.

Purpose: GSA wants to develop authentication services for e-gov initiatives, allowing citizens, government, businesses and other institutions to conduct authenticated interactions.

Potential bidders: RSA Security, Qwest.

Contact: Jon Faye, contracting office (202) 708-6099


Project:Federal Acquisition Management Information System

Value: $20 million

Status: RFP was expected July 25.

Purpose: The GSA, Department of Defense and Office of Federal Procurement Policy need a Web-based portal with an infrastructure capable of collecting, validating and correcting, storing, reporting and selling contract and procurement data. The system must be capable of sharing data with other agency systems.

Potential bidders: ACS, CSC, DynCorp, Global Computer Enterprises, Intelligent Decisions, Northrop Grumman, Optimos, SAIC, SAP.

Contact: Pat Brooks, contracting office (202) 501-1969


Project: E-travel

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released June 20; RFP expected Aug. 12.

Purpose: GSA needs an online booking engine for travel services. This is one of OMB's 24 e-gov initiatives.

Potential bidders: SAP.

Contact: Van Hale, contracting office (703) 305-7967

Immigration and naturalization service

Project: Entry-Exit System

Value: $380 million

Status: Presolicitation notice issued May 2; RFP expected in August.

Purpose: Immigration and Naturalization Service needs a system to verify and record the identities of persons who enter and exit the United States. The Entry-Exit System must also identify those who overstay their entry documents and alert government personnel if visitors are or become identified as security threats.

Potential bidders: AT&T, Accenture, CSC, DynCorp, EDS, Getronics, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, PEC Solutions, Raytheon, SAIC, TRW.

Contact: Joe Garforth, contracting office (202) 514-3630

International Broadcasting Bureau

Project: Web Content Management

Value: N/A

Status: A request for information was released April 11. RFP date unknown.

Purpose: The bureau operates Voice of America, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and WorldNet Television and Film Service. The agency wants to improve content management to publish multimedia content on the Web.

Potential bidders: None identified.

Contacts: Herman Shaw, contracting office (202) 205-8412

Justice Department

Project: Executive Office of Immigration Review electronic case management

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released March 25; RFP expected
in November.

Purpose: The project includes designing and implementing a new integrated database, an electronic case management system, conversion of paper files to electronic and an electronic filing system.

Potential bidders: SiloSmashers, Computer Associates, Protech, Headstrong, SAP, ISSA, Optimos, Visionary Integrations Professionals, Protech Solutions.

Contact: Janet Hall, contracting office (703) 605-0441


Project: E-commerce technologies

Value: N/A

Status: RFP expected in August.

Purpose: The Navy Fleet and Industrial Supply Center wants an integrated logistics technical database to facilitate the Navy's Security Assistance Program to meet logistics requirements for foreign military sales.
Potential bidders: Strategic Procurement Services held the incumbent contract, which expired in June. Other potential bidders include Boeing, Eagan McAllister, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Scientific Research Corp.

Contact: Brian Excell, contracting office (215) 697-9682

Office of Personnel Management

Project: Telework modules

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released Feb. 27; RFP expected this summer.

Purpose: OPM wants interactive Web-based learning modules on telework; one designed for employees, one for managers.

Potential bidders: EDO Professional Services, SI International and Signal Corp.

Contact: Henry Wong, contracting office (202) 606-1598


Project: USAJobs

Value: N/A

Status: RFI issued June 11; RFP expected this summer.

Purpose: Expand USAJobs to include features such as expanded online job applications, integration of paper resume and job application data, application status tracking, resume mining for agency managers and employment eligibility determinations. This is one of OMB's 24 e-gov initiatives.

Potential bidders: AT&T, Accenture, Advanced Technology Systems, High Performance Technologies, Hot Jobs, IBM, KPMG Consulting, Lockheed Martin, Maximus, NCS Pearson, PwC Consulting, Raytheon, SI International and SAIC.

Contact: Alfred Chatterton, contracting office (202) 606-2240

Postal Service

Project: Electronic Filing Document Management System

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released Jan. 29. An RFP expected in September.

Purpose: Postal Service wants an electronic filing system for its national purchasing program. The system should be able to collect, process, store and retrieve all purchasing documents.

Potential bidders: ATS, Alta Systems, BEA Systems, CACI, Candle, Computer Associates, HP, Perot Systems, ICF Consulting, Johnston McLamb, Knowledge Consulting Group, Leads Corp., Northrop Grumman, OTG Software, Optimos, PEC Solutions and Qwest.

Contact: Kathleen Tsukamoto, contracting office (202) 268-6053

Postal Service

Project: Contact Center Network Solution

Value: $400 million

Status: RFP expected this summer.

Purpose: Comprehensive turnkey contact center network solution that reduces costs, increases efficiencies and improves customer care through consolidation and integration of the services, technologies and communications providers throughout the Postal Service's customer contact centers.

Potential bidders: Teletech holds the incumbent contract. Others pre-qualified to bid include APAC Customer Services, Convergys Corp., EDS, Sitel Corp. and West Corp.

Contact: Michael Whisler, contracting office (202) 268-5619

Social Security Administration

Project: Automated Grants Management

Value: $1 million

Status: RFI released in April 2001. RFP date unknown.

Purpose: Social Security wants a system offering a full range of federal grants activities, from requesting applications and automated application assessment to award and monitoring. The system will be used both by Social Security and those requesting grants.

Potential bidders: Booz Allen Hamilton, Compuware, Integrated System Support Associates, Object Technology Information Specialist, Quality Software Services Inc., Qwest, Signal, Sybase and WebMethods.
Contact: Gary Stammer, program office (410) 965-9501

Transportation Security Administration

Project: Nationwide Information Technology Infrastructure

Value: $1 billion

Status: Award was expected July 25.

Purpose: The Transportation Security Administration needs a nationwide information technology infrastructure. This is a multiple-award contract under the Information Technology Omnibus Procurement II vehicle. Requirements include data centers, seat management and telecommunications.

Potential bidders: Advanced Management Technology, Allied Technology Group, Anteon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Catapult Technology, Centech, Computer Resource Management, Datamat Systems Research, DynCorp, EER Systems, EDS, FC Business Systems, Integrated Management Services, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, PEC Solutions, QSS Group, RSIS, SAIC, Signal, SRA, Stanley Associates, TWM Associates and Unisys.

Contact: Megan Russell, contracting office (202) 997-4374

Treasury Department

Project: IT Investment Portfolio Systems

Value: N/A

Status: An RFP is expected in October and will be released only to holders of the GSA ANSWER contract.

Purpose: The Treasury Department wants a Web-based decision support and project management tool for controlling information technology investments.

Potential bidders: Anteon, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSC, DynCorp, EER Systems, Information Systems Support, ITS, Northrop Grumman and SAIC.

Contact: Darren Ash, program office (202) 622-1543

Veterans Affairs

Project: Document Library System

Value: N/A

Status: RFI released April 26. RFP expected in August.

Purpose: The VA Financial Services Center wants a document library system that will consist of software documentation, program coding information, company policies and procedures and other documents as needed.

Potential bidders: Amgraf, Crucial Security, Intelligent Decisions, Mobius Management Systems, Object Technology and Qwest.

Contact: Robin Matteson, robin.matteson@mail.va.gov

Sources: Knowledge Consulting Group, Input, Office of Management and Budget, FedBizOpps. Compiled by Nick Wakeman and Gail Repsher Emery.
About 20 of the 24 e-government initiatives managed by the Office of Management and Budget will be deployed in at least their first iteration -- a Web-based application -- between May and September this year. Additional projects may be identified in the 2004 budget process, according to OMB.

Government to business

  • Business Compliance One-Stop

  • Expanded Tax Products for Businesses

  • Federal Asset Sales

  • International Trade Process Streamlining

  • Online Rulemaking Management

Government to government

  • Disaster Assistance and Crisis Response

  • E-grants

  • E-vital

  • Geospatial Information One-Stop

  • Wireless Public Safety

Government to citizen

  • EZ Tax Filing

  • Eligibility Assistance Online

  • Online Access for Loans

  • Recreation One-Stop

  • USA Services

Internal efficiency and effectiveness

  • E-clearance

  • E-payroll

  • E-records Management

  • E-training

  • E-travel

  • Integrated Acquisition

  • Integrated Human Resources

  • Recruitment One-Stop

Cross-cutting initiative

  • E-authentication

For more information about the initiatives, see OMB's E-government Strategy report at www.omb.gov.
Sixteen of 26 agencies are making significant progress in e-government, but only one agency, the National Science Foundation, got the highest "green" rating for e-government in the Bush administration's midyear report card.

NSF is a small-agency model of successful e-government, according to the midyear report, published this month by the Office of Management and Budget.

"We need to move the federal mind-set from electrified paper to e-business. That's why NSF got a green ? they are an e-organization," said Mark Forman, associate director of information and technology and e-government for OMB.

President Bush recently sent a memo to department chiefs, commending agencies that have actively engaged in e-government and urging others "to follow their lead."

The report card rates agency status and progress in the five categories of the President's Management Agenda: e-government, financial management, budget and performance integration, human capital management and competitive sourcing. The report card uses a green, yellow and red rating system. "Green" agencies have met all the administration's criteria for success in a category; "red" agencies have significant deficiencies.

To get a green rating on e-government, agencies must be on track with modernization and IT security plans. They must also be involved in OMB's e-government initiatives in three out of the four cross-agency groups: government to citizen, government to business, government to government and internal efficiency, Forman said.

Forman said he'd like to see the Department of Homeland Security rated green at its inception. The blending of myriad government units into the new department is regarded by many in industry as a huge e-government effort and a tremendous opportunity to create interoperable IT systems from its start.

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