Air Force cancels failed $1B logistics program

7 months after firing CSC, service shutters project

The Air Force has finally thrown in the towel, canceling a logistics contract after spending $1 billion and getting what it called “negligible” value, Federal Times is reporting.

Last March, the service fired its contractor on the project, Computer Sciences Corp., but continued to work on the project, known as the Expeditionary Combat Support System.

Now, it has come to the conclusion that it is better to start over rather than spending another $1.1 billion to meet a 2017 deadline for a system that can be audited, Federal Times reported.

The cancellation will cost the jobs of 115 contractors and the reassignment of 55 military and government employees.

A CSC spokeswoman told Washington Technology that the company’s work on the project ended in April, and that the cancellation doesn’t affect the company.

CSC won the contract in 2006 as a task order under the Enterprise Software Initiative blanket purchase agreement. The value of the task order was $628 million over eight years.

The project was to retire more than 400 legacy information systems, according to a CSC news release. The system was to support 250,000 users, managing $33 billion in assets at over 600 locations globally, according to CSC.

A CSC spokeswoman told Defense News in May that the company “demonstrated success in meeting all the major milestones and commitments for the first four years.” But she offered no explanation for problems after that.

In November 2010, the Air Force and CSC announced that the first portion of the system had been fielded successful.

“We are now at the point of putting capability into the field,” Brig. Gen. Kenneth J. Moran, Air Force program executive officer for the project, said in a CSC press release. The release came out after a pilot project had been completed at Hanscom Air Force Base.

In March 2011, the company announced that a second pilot had been successfully launched.


About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Sun, Feb 10, 2013

This is what happens when you outsource to India.

Mon, Nov 19, 2012

Nick, If the pilots were successful, why did the Air Force cancel the whole program? In the commercial world, if you spend a billion dollar and get "negligible value" you will be fired. Can you do a follow on story here to answer the questions raised by your initial report. Thanks

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 GeorgeEth Northern Virginia

Not sure how this speaks to ITIL. ITIL is an open, Best Practices Framework, whose adoption (withother Frameworks) and adaptation to specific industry and government organizations has repeatedly demonstrated improved the value of end-to-end services. If a contractor stumbles while executing a large project shall we then say "so much for PMBOK?"

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 J. Alexander S. MD

This is another story in which the government chooses to use a familiar contractor to provide a service that was outside their scope and the end result was failure. Rather that utilize a commercial product that probably could provide the same results or better the government always proceeds to recreate the wheel when they are working on stringent budgets and inexperienced experts that are simply providing results as consultants looking to keep the cash-cow moving forward for each option year. How much longer will contracting keep relying on its outdate procurement methods that provide the same results over and over.

Wed, Nov 14, 2012

Give this project to the Defense Logistics Agency, they will do it right

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