Interior ousts BearingPoint from major integration job

The Interior Department has removed systems integrator BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., from the Financial and Business Modernization System project to install a new enterprise resource planning system, the department said.

'The department has severed its business relationship with BearingPoint for implementation of the Financial and Business Management System,' Interior spokeswoman Joan Moody said today. She added, 'We are committed to the success of the FBMS project, so we are taking the necessary management action to ensure that we can deliver a quality system.'

Reports have circulated in the vendor community in recent weeks that the FBMS project has been delayed.

BearingPoint was installing an enterprise resource planning system from SAP America Inc. at the department. When it announced the Interior project in May 2004, SAP said that Interior would use 'SAP NetWeaver to replace the two existing different accounting systems, and at least 10 other subsidiary systems, to enable interoperability across several critical functions.'

"The removal of BearingPoint does not affect the relationship between SAP and the Department of Interior," said SAP spokesperson Bonnie Rothenstein.

According to Interior, FBMS is planned as an integrated suite of software applications that would help bureaus to manage functions such as budget formulation and execution; personal, real and fleet property; core financials; acquisition; travel; financial assistance; and enterprise information management.

According to Interior's FBMS Web site, the time line for the project is being revised.

The budget for FBMS has been estimated to be as high as $120 million, though no updated information on project spending was immediately available. According to earlier plans, FBMS was slated to be fully operational by 2007.

"We're disappointed by the Department of Interior's decision to change direction on its Financial and Business Management System, which will only further delay the launch of this important project," said BearingPoint spokesman Steve Lunceford. "We hope to meet with DOI management to discuss their decision as soon as possible."

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