Customs invites bids for ACE project

Customs invites bids for ACE project

By Preeti Vasishtha

GCN Staff

DEC. 22—The Customs Service today released a request for proposals for the development of its long-awaited Automated Commercial Environment.

Bidders are required to submit their proposals no later than Feb. 5, 2001. The requirements for proposals have changed substantially from earlier plans, with an increased emphasis on bidders' oral presentations and the elimination of written technical and management proposals.

Details of the RFP can be found on the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov.

The agency received the $130 million it needs for the computer modernization plan when Congress last week passed the fiscal 2001 omnibus appropriations bill. Funding for the ACE project had been tied up in budget squabbles as part of the Treasury-Postal appropriations bill, which President Clinton vetoed Oct. 30.

ACE will replace the 17-year-old Automated Commercial System, which depends heavily on paper and manual input, and has endured several costly shutdowns due to overloading. Through the ACE project, Customs wants to improve its efficiency in managing and monitoring imports and exports.

Instead of processing each incoming shipment as a single transaction, a major importer would receive a monthly statement covering all transactions for a given company, officials said.

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