DHS pauses Emerge2 program to reconsider options

Amid a flurry of industry buzz that the Homeland Security Department's Emerge2 program has foundered, agency officials said the $229 million project still is alive but has been paused until the agency figures out the program's future.

The Electronically Managing Enterprise Resources for Government Effectiveness and Efficiency program ' which was beginning to attract the moniker 'Submerge2' from industry wags aware of a current contract hiatus ' would create a new financial backbone for DHS. While it remains an active program within the department, according to chief financial officer Andy Maner, most work under the program has been halted temporarily.

A team led by vendor BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., completed the second of two task orders under its Emerge2 contract June 10, but is not currently carrying out any work under the blanket purchase agreement, the company and the department confirmed.

The company started work on the project in late September 2004, when it received an initial $3 million task order against the blanket purchase agreement.

'I would love to be further along but I will not blame BearingPoint,' Maner said, alluding to his earlier statements that Emerge2 was lagging. 'The government and the vendors [on BearingPoint's team] all share responsibility for driving this program. The most important thing is that we are not wasting taxpayer dollars doing things we don't want.'

BearingPoint has reassigned its Emerge2 staff to temporary work on other projects, according to company spokesman Steve Lunceford.

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