Army awards logistics modernization contract to CSC

The Army awarded Computer Sciences Corp. this week a $681 million contract to fully modernize the way the Army buys everything from helmets to helicopters.

The Army plans to use the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program (WLMP) contract to re-engineer and modernize its logistics operation through the use of commercial practices and systems.

As part of the contract, CSC will take over and revamp Army logistics computer operations in St. Louis and Chambersburg, Pa., which rely on outmoded technology. CSC will offer employment to displaced government workers who maintained the old systems in those two locations.

Jeff Plotnick, the CSC vice president in charge of the WLMP contract, said the company realizes the importance of the federal workers in St. Louis and Chambersburg and intends to offer them pay and benefits comparable to their government salaries as well as unspecified financial incentives as the logistics systems switch from Army to CSC management.

Milton Cooper, president of CSC's federal sector, hailed the award of the contact as the start of a new era for the Army that "will promote the achievement of a seamless logistics system focused on systems interoperability and the adoption of best commercial practices.''

The National Federation of Federal Employees, which represents federal workers displaced by WLMP, fought against the outsourcing project for nearly a year, enlisting a series of congressional backers to slow it down, including at one point insertion of language in the fiscal 2000 Defense Department spending bill.

CSC views WLMP as a continuation of a trend in which federal agencies turn over more and more of their nongovernmental functions to the private sector, which can accomplish the mission with greater efficiency and lower costs.

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