Army outsourcing program inches closer to reality

Army outsourcing program inches closer to reality

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

After a near two-year delay, the Army's Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program to outsource nearly 500 civilian jobs is scheduled for award in December.

The Army Communications'Electronics Command Acquisition Center'Fort Monmouth made the request for proposals for the five-year, $1 billion professional services contract on April 29, nine days after the assistant secretary of the Army for Installations and Environment signed a waiver freeing the Army Materiel Command from restrictions of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76, said Henry Kearney, a CECOM spokesman at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

On the move

The action is part of the Defense Department's plan to transfer as many as 230,000 jobs to the private sector by 2005 and save DOD more than $10 billion during the next six years, according to a Pentagon announcement made earlier this year.

One roadblock to initiatives such as WLMP was the A-76 requirement that allows competition between federal employees and private-sector workers for jobs that are not governmental.

WLMP bids were due on June 28, with best-and-final offers scheduled by Nov. 23, according to Input Inc. of Vienna, Va. Potential bidders include Computer Sciences Corp., Litton PRC and Lockheed Martin Corp., Input officials said.

The current Wholesale Logistics Management System is expensive and difficult to maintain and update, and Army officials want to overhaul its computer systems to support the Army's Force XXI battlefield digitization program at Fort Hood, Texas, and interoperate with the Global Support System-Army, according to Input officials.

WLMS uses large mainframe batch data processing and Cobol 74 software, Kearney said.

The winning vendor will supply a soft landing'employment for at least a year in the same geographic area at comparable pay and benefits'for displaced AMC employees at the Industrial Logistics System Center in Chambersburg, Pa., and the Logistics Systems Support Center at St. Louis, Kearney said.

CECOM officials also will give placement assistance to those who want to continue as government employees, he said.

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