DOD picks five contractors for pay, personnel systems

More than 3 million military personnel came a step closer to having a unified personnel and pay system last month when the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command awarded five contracts to begin development plans for the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System.

SPAWAR picked Computer Sciences Corp., IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to develop systems specifications, perform risk assessments and draft program management plans for DIMHRS, a system that will be used across the Defense Department.

Proposals, including cost and scheduling, are due in December. By early summer, the DIMHRS program office will pick a vendor to develop and implement the DIMHRS program.

'It is considered a tool for the transformation efforts in each of the services,' said Navy Capt. Valerie Carpenter, the joint program manager for DIMHRS. 'It provides the cornerstone, the best business practices. It is more commercially oriented, a common database that has not existed before.'

The SPAWAR IT Center in New Orleans awarded $1 million contracts to CSC, IBM, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. PricewaterhouseCoopers received a $950,000 contract.

DIMHRS is a payroll and personnel system for the military's 3.1 million active-duty, reserve and National Guard service members. By 2007, when it is running DOD-wide, DIMHRS will replace roughly 88 legacy personnel and pay systems.

The Army has volunteered to be the first service to deploy DIMHRS; it expects to do so by the spring of 2004.

SPAWAR, the contracting agency for DIMHRS, will use software from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif. Before the final contract award, Defense officials won't say how much they expect the system to cost, but industry analysts estimate DOD will spend between $500 million and $1 billion on it.

Touted as one of the world's largest human resources systems, DIMHRS will make it easier for military personnel to conduct some personnel and payroll functions online.

It will also present one database for commanders to quickly access staff records or search for a particular employee, Carpenter said.

'The commanders on the various levels can manage their folks better,' she said.

For instance, in the Army, soldiers still take paper records with them with they are deployed in the field, making it a longer process to change benefits or monetary allocations for beneficiaries, Carpenter said.

'Now DIMHRS will fit right on the laptop,' she said. 'It transforms how we do field operations.'

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