Unisys gets extension of Los Angeles contract

Los Angeles County has exercised two option years on a contract with Unisys, allowing the integrator to continue work on the county Department of Public Social Services' benefit eligibility system. The additional contract period is worth about $39.7 million to Unisys, according to the company.

The contract is called Los Angeles Eligibility, Automated Determination, Evaluation and Reporting (LEADER). The options will extend the contract through April 2007.

Under the contract, Unisys will provide application modification service, technology infrastructure and related services. Bill Majorossy, Unisys’ program manager for LEADER, said application modification might involve updating the system to reflect changes in regulations or policy government public assistance programs.

The only subcontractor on the project is Xerox, which is responsible for the contract’s central print function.

LEADER helps county employees determine whether county residents are eligible for benefits, and to determine the appropriate benefit amount, for social services including the CalWORKs public assistance program, Medi-CAL Medicaid program and the Food Stamp Program.

Unisys’ contract extension follows other similar contracts. Earlier this week, Unisys announced a three-year extension to its Medicaid administration contract from the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Last month, Texas awarded an $840 million contract to Accenture under which Accenture will rework the process that allows Texans to apply for social services.

“We do seem to be in a bit of an upgrade cycle for public assistance systems,” Majorossy said. Many state and local agencies still use aging “green screen” or client/server systems, he said. But they "are keen on joining the 21st century with open, Web-enabled systems,” he added.

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