DHS takes on human resources

140 legacy HR systems will need painstaking integration

The Homeland Security Department is considering proposals from five companies it invited to compete for an unadvertised, $175 million human resources project.

The department in March asked the five companies to bid on a blanket purchasing agreement for a Human Resources Management System to handle personnel tasks for 180,000 DHS employees spread across 22 agencies.

The request for quotations covered:
  • Redesigning some personnel systems

  • Integrating those systemsM

  • Services for employee pay, performance management, classification, discipline, labor relations and appeals.

The winning contractor would work with the department's chief human capital officer and CIOs to consolidate the existing HR systems, the department said.

The House Appropriations Committee earlier this month approved a DHS spending plan allocating $70 million to HRMS and providing an additional $21 million in DHS' technology investment account for HRMS' computer needs. In its report on the appropriations bill, the committee said DHS has 140 legacy HR systems.

The BPA will run for one year with two one-year options. It includes fixed-price task orders and some labor-hour task orders.

During the first three years, the contractor must roll out the system in phases, beginning with employee and labor relations policies in July, a performance management module by October 2005, compensation features by January 2006 and full implementation by January 2007.
The five companies invited to bid were:
  • BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va.

  • Deloitte Consulting LLP of New York

  • Hewitt Associates LLC of Lincolnshire, Ill.

  • Northrop Grumman Corp.'s IT division

  • Watson Wyatt & Co. of Washington.

Most of the companies declined to comment. But T. Wood Parker, president of Northrop Grumman IT's Federal Enterprise Solutions business unit, confirmed that his company submitted a proposal on April 8.

Weaving systems

Parker said DHS needs an integrated HR system not only because it is trying to weave together 22 separate agencies, but also because Congress gave the department unique flexibility to manage its workforce.

After working with the Office of Personnel Management and federal worker unions last year, the department proposed the personnel regulations in February. DHS received comments via the Environmental Protection Agency's electronic docket system through March 22. It is reviewing the comments as it considers the wording of a final rule.

Parker said he did not know the estimated award date. DHS officials did not respond to repeated requests for details about the program.

Northrop Grumman also is developing the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, a nine-year, $281 million effort to create a single HR system for the Defense Department.

Parker called DIMHRS 'the largest implementation of enterprise resource planning software' whether in government or industry.

Northrop is using ERP software from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasonton, Calif., for DIMHRS and also for the Treasury Department's large personnel system, HR Connect.

Todd Van Fleet, an analyst with Chicago investment bank First Analysis Corp., said he believes the government will parcel out HRMS to several bidders. He said Hewitt Associates likely would handle the policy aspects of the project rather than the IT.

Darryl Moody, BearingPoint's senior vice president for homeland security, said his company is participating in the HRMS solicitation as a prospective subcontractor.


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