DOD selects six firms for $650M new BPR program

The Defense Department last week awarded contracts to six vendors under its $650 million Strategic Business Processing Re-engineering (SBPR) program which aims to be the Pentagon's linchpin vehicle for improving business practices.

Abacus Technology Corp. BDM International Inc. Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. Computer Sciences Corp. Litton/PRC Inc. and SRA International Inc. captured the SBPR deal. The program has an overall ceiling of $650 million over five years and each contract is limited to $200 million.

The contractors represent the first lot of awards under SBPR a small-business set-aside is slated for award by the end of the fiscal year. Those contracts also will be included in the $650 million ceiling.

`Extensive Suppport'

The six primes and 97 subcontractors provide "an extensive cadre of consulting support covering virtually every functional area you can think of " said Michael Yoemans DOD's director of functional process improvement.Yoemans said SBPR will allow DOD to outsource re-engineering work to contractors rather than having the Pentagon amass re-engineering personnel.

However the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command Control Communications and Intelligence will continue to serve as a resource for re-engineering techniques and tools. The contractors will provide services ranging from activity-based costing which helps determine the cost of a given business function to simulation. SBPR is open to all DOD agencies with up to 20 percent of the ceiling available to non-DOD agencies.

"I think this will be the flagship contract for business re-engineering in DOD " said Matthew Black senior vice president of integrated business systems at SRA. He said the pact creates a "short list" of qualified re-engineering firms for customers throughout government.

Customers interested in purchasing re-engineering services through SBPR will have to find the money in their organizations' budgets according to DOD. DOD's BPR Fund successor to the CIM Central Fund had provided matching funds for re-engineering projects but has been eliminated from DOD's budget.Despite the lack of seed money Yoemans said re-engineering services remain in demand. "Under the Clinger-Cohen Act re-engineering is the name of the game " Yoemans said. "[Agencies] are required to do it as a prelude to investing in IT." Clinger-Cohen calls for agencies to improve their management of information technology systems.

Bob Dornan a senior vice president of Federal Sources Inc. added that Office of Management and Budget policy also calls for re-engineering as a first step before automation.

Another re-engineering incentive within DOD is the need to find money to purchase new equipment and systems.

"In order for the services to recapitalize they've got to accrue substantial savings " said Don Goulet senior account manager with Litton/PRC. He said re-engineered business processes could save money.

Re-engineering services also are offered on other federal vehicles such as the Defense Information Systems Agency's Defense Enterprise Integration Services II contracts. But executives said SBPR stands out for its exclusive focus on re-engineering. Goulet said other contracts are "all-encompassing" in contrast to SBPR's re-engineering and strategic planning thrust.

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