DHS gets green light for enterprise apps

DHS gets green light for enterprise apps

HERSHEY, Pa.'Two Homeland Security Department officials have outlined ambitious plans to acquire and field enterprise applications within a year'one for resource management and one for personnel.

If successful, the applications would replace about 224 systems now performing those functions, each belonging to one of the agencies brought together earlier this year to form DHS, the officials said during the Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference.

'We've got the green light from our IT investment review board,' said Catherine Santana, director of resource management in DHS' Transformation Office. For the system, which would encompass finance, asset management, payroll, procurement and travel, she said a team would be spending the next five months developing requirements. Her acquisition strategy calls for vendors to propose integrated application sets sometime next year.

'We don't want to pick component solutions. We want integrated solutions,' Santana said. Asked about outsourcing, she said, "One of the program's guiding principles is, 'View competitive sourcing as a preferred option.'"

Santana said it's possible that DHS would choose to outsource the whole resource management function to the winning bidder.

David Swatloski, a Coast Guard officer who is the DHS' program manager for human resources and payroll, said his office hopes to have a pilot HR application running a year from now.

Echoing Santana, Swatloski said outsourcing HR functions, from recruitment to time-and-attendance tracking, is under consideration.

The application DHS hopes to buy would eventually encompass all DHS employees. Swatloski used the rosters of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Coast Guard, Customs Bureau, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Secret Service and Transportation Security Administration to gather baseline information for developing requirements.

An initial pilot would involve 7,500 Coast Guard civilian employees, he said.

But first, the proposal must pass muster with the DHS Investment Board, he added. He said he expected to send the plan to the board by the end of January.

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