DHS begins integrating administrative systems
- By Wilson P. Dizard III
- Sep 24, 2004
The Homeland Security Department last week began work on the first project of a new $229 million effort to weave together the disparate administrative and financial systems it acquired from the 22 agencies that merged to form DHS.
The smart conference room pilot is the first task order for BearingPoint Inc., which this month won the back-office systems integration contract known as Emerge2.
For the Electronically Managing Enterprise Resources for Government Effectiveness and Efficiency program, the McLean, Va., company will build an enterprise resource planning system to give decision-makers across the department timely information about assets and resources.
During the $3 million pilot, which will last two to three months, system designers will use real-life business scenarios and develop a high-tech meeting space to test BearingPoint's technical approach for Emerge2.
For the broader systems integration effort, BearingPoint will focus on merging applications that support accounting and reporting, acquisition and grants management, cost and revenue performance management, asset management and budget. DHS plans to roll out the Emerge2 capabilities across the department over a period of two to 2 ' years.
'With the award of this contract, we are one step closer to providing improved visibility into our critical business information,' said Andrew Maner, DHS' chief financial officer.
Because the department is the amalgamation of parts of other federal agencies, it became the overseer of multiple redundant administrative and financial systems. And one of its biggest challenges in its first year and a half of existence has been determining who has what data, shedding repetitive processes and consolidating similar program offices.
Efficient asset management tools are essential to allocating DHS' resources for all threats, said Darryl Moody, BearingPoint's senior vice president for homeland security and critical infrastructure.
'One of the lines I use is that the terrorists are coming by sea, by land, by air and by cyber,' Moody said. 'Unlike other agencies, where modernized financial management systems are important for management and accountability, at DHS these functions are very important for mission capability.'
Rodger Ceritelli, the company's vice president for ERP initiatives, will be the project manager. He formerly implemented a statewide ERP system for Pennsylvania.
Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge oversaw the Pennsylvania project, called Imagine PA, which relied on software from SAP America Inc. of Newtown Square, Pa. The Emerge 2 project will use software from Oracle Corp. and other vendors.