Justice financial systems to be consolidated by IBM

The Justice Department has awarded IBM Corp. a seven-year contract potentially worth $150 million to modernize and consolidate the department's financial management and procurement systems, the company will announce today.

Under the United Financial Management System contract, which has one base year and six one-year options, the company will combine six separate systems into one.

'The interfaces and support required to maintain all these disparate systems are daunting,' said Richard K. Scott, executive program manager for IBM Federal's Business Consulting Services, based in Bethesda, Md.

'One departmentwide system gives us an opportunity to reduce costs because we don't have to have six redundant infrastructures to support our systems,' said Lee Lofthus, controller and deputy chief financial officer at the Justice Department. 'It also improves the timing in which we get our data for our management.'

IBM will install several components, including modules for core accounting/general ledger, financial management reporting, payment management, receivables management, funds management, cost management and procurement. The new system will be based on Momentum software from CGI-AMS Inc. of Fairfax, Va.

The new system has several benefits, including standardizing financial management processes and making them more efficient. The new system also will improve information sharing throughout the department and allow an enterprise view of budgets and spending. The new system also will improve security and financial accountability.

Having one system will let the Justice Department gather information for both internal users and outside parties, such as the Office of Management and Budget and Congress, said Angela Carrington, financial management partner in IBM's federal business consulting services.

The Unified Financial Management System calls for a standard application to be rolled out in phases. The Justice Department's total budget for the project is $200 million.

IBM's teammates on the contract include CGI-AMS, BEA Systems Inc., BearingPoint Inc., COMSO Inc., Delta Solutions & Technologies Inc., Nortel PEC Solutions Inc., Unisys Corp., Codesoft International Inc. and Collins Consulting Inc.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

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