Price Systems chosen to help IRS control IT update costs

If they didn't want to break the bank, officials at the IRS knew the agency was in need of help to update its IT without excess spending.

Cost baselines give the IRS bargaining power, and schedule estimates and solution analysis lets the agency know if it can move a project around on its to-do list.

To get these analyses done, the IRS recently hired Price Systems of Mount Laurel, N.J., to provide services under a five-year contract that could be worth $10 million.

"We bring cost under control. That's what we do, we're cost guys," said Larry Reagan, vice president of Price Systems' government solutions division.

Price Systems beat out Tecolote Research Inc. of Goleta, Calif., which provides similar services for the Homeland Security Department's Customs and Border Protection Directorate, among others.

Price Systems has already developed cost baselines for six projects using its TruePlanning Suite, a database which contains IRS project information.

The way it works is that the IRS meets with vendors about providing services. Once the agency has a price quote, it conducts a cost analysis using the software, which provides officials with a baseline for how much the project should cost.

"This gives IRS credibility with the vendor. It allows IRS to see what a project really costs," Reagan said.

The IRS also will use TruePlanning Executive Portal, which is a trimmed down version of the database system. The add-on system currently is going through virus program checks and will be implemented soon, said Price Systems officials. The new portal will let IRS access all 34 of its modernization projects.

"The smaller files, the portal, lets IRS see and do 'what if?' analysis of their projects," Reagan said.

Price Systems will be working on all 34 projects as well as any new ones that spring up.

Kerri Hostetler is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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