Lockheed first to name team for IRS modernization pact

Lockheed Martin Federal Systems announced July 24 that it would join with Electronic Data Systems Corp. Government Services Group and Andersen Consulting to compete for IRS Prime the multimillion-dollar contract to run the Internal Revenue Service's future modernization program.

The teaming agreement is the first to be announced since the IRS kicked off the contract with a request for comments in May and it comes on the heels of a decision by TRW Inc. not to compete for the contract (see story Page 59).

The IRS created Prime in response to criticism that its modernization program has been over budget and behind schedule because it lacked a single contractor to manage the program's various components.

Under the agreement Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor but the vendors have not worked out the details of the different roles they will play said Judy Gan a Lockheed spokeswoman. "We are having our initial set of discussions as a team " she said.

"We are equal partners " said George Newstrom a vice president with EDS. "The IRS still wants that single point of contact and accountability and that's what Lockheed is but the role each one of us plays is [unique]."

Last month 12 vendors told the IRS they were qualified to compete for the contract but agency chief information officer Arthur Gross urged them to form teams. Gan said the fact that three large companies had joined forces to bid "should give you an idea what it will take to perform on this."

One of the 12 vendors Northrop Grumman Corp. is being acquired by Lockheed Martin but the deal is not complete. Robert Koch director of communications with Northrop Grumman said his firm is continuing to develop its bidding strategy without giving consideration to the takeover.

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