Interior picks IBM for $100M ERP work

IBM Corp. has won a contract to take over as the systems integrator on the Interior Department's Financial and Business Management System project.

The project will replace a hodgepodge of financial and administrative applications with a single enterprise resource planning system.

"The contract has been awarded and performance has begun on the first task order," said Debra Sonderman, Interior's director of acquisition and property management. "This first task order is for detailed project planning and will culminate in an integrated baseline review."

Sonderman said the baseline review would ensure that all project tasks have been identified, that resources have been assigned to the tasks and that the project schedule is achievable.

The contract is worth about $100 million over six years, counting the one-base year and five one-year options.

"We have been continuing to move forward [with FBMS development] while we were conducting the procurement," Sonderman said, in a reference to the fact that Interior terminated former integrator BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., from the project last year.

BearingPoint had been working to install ERP software from SAP America Inc. of Newton Square, Pa., at the Interior Department. The agency continued its relationship with SAP after jettisoning BearingPoint from the project.

After firing BearingPoint and requesting proposals from integrators to take over the work, the Interior Department received proposals from IBM and Accenture Ltd.

FBMS is intended to eventually carry out a broad array of financial and administrative functions, including:

  • Budget formulation

  • Budget execution

  • Core financials

  • Personal, real, and fleet property

  • Acquisition

  • Travel

  • Financial assistance

  • Enterprise management information.

FBMS is intended to replace an existing array of systems that are "expensive, complicated, and difficult to operate and maintain" as well as hard to secure, according to the project's Web site.

IBM has about 319,000 employees and annual sales of $96.5 billion in fiscal 2004. Big Blue ranks No. 14 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

Wilson P. Dizard III is a senior writer for Government Computer News. He can be reached at

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