Cofoni: CSC now on track with IRS, FBI work

Computer Science Corp. will meet new deadlines for completing two troubled federal IT projects, despite missing several start dates over the past few years, the head of the company's federal sector said yesterday.

Paul Cofoni, president of CSC's government business unit, said the company's IT modernization projects for the IRS and the FBI would be completed on time. CSC has come under heavy fire from agency administrators and other government officials for what they consider slow progress and overspending on both projects.

The El Segundo, Calif., information technology services company is to deliver a production version of the Customer Account Data Engine (CADE), the heart of the IRS' business systems modernization program centerpiece, during the summer. The project's integrated financial system component is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, and is now being tested, Cofoni said.

By April 30, CSC will finish deploying the infrastructure for the FBI's IT project called Trilogy, though the rollout could be "a day or two early or a day or two late," Cofoni said. After that date, CSC will perform maintenance work on the system until the end of June.

In December 1998, CSC won a 15-year contract worth $5 billion to $7 billion to modernize the IRS' 1960s-era computer system. CADE will replace antiquated, tape-based computer taxpayer records with a modern database.

The project's integrated financial system, the first of its five-phase rollout, has been delayed since 2001. Its four other releases will be released over the next five to seven years.

CSC is the IRS project's prime contractor, leading a team that includes IBM Corp., BearingPoint Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp.'s IT division, Unisys Corp. and Science Applications International Corp.

As part of the modernization efforts, CSC last month introduced an e-services suite of online business tools for tax professionals.

CSC inherited the FBI's IT upgrade contract when it acquired IT firm DynCorp last year. DynCorp received the original contract to build the Trilogy system, a modern network for the agency's crime databases, in May 2001.

Trilogy's original projected cost of $380 million has ballooned to an estimated $600 million for the project's three phases, according to General Accounting Office. CSC declined to say how much revenue it has pulled in from the project.

CSC completed the first two phases by supplying about 22,000 desktops, printers and scanners to FBI offices and creating a modern wide area network.

The third phase, the virtual case file, was supposed to be finished last December. This software, which forms Trilogy's backbone, will put millions of electronic files and a huge terrorism database at agents' fingertips.

The IRS has said it will not consider CSC for work on future IT modernization contracts if delays continue under the existing terms. The FBI's contract with CSC stipulates that the company would lose a $5 million reward fee and bear the cost of additional overruns if it misses future Trilogy deadlines.

With the DynCorp acquisition, about 40 percent of the company's revenue is now generated by the federal sector.

CSC earned a profit of $440.2 million on revenue of $11.3 billion for the fiscal year ended March 28, 2003. The company employs 90,000 workers. It ranked No. 5 on Washington Technology's 2003 list of top 100 federal prime contractors. The 2004 list is due out in May.

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