School automating food services

A Virginia public school system is freeing its food service managers from

cumbersome paper-based recordkeeping with a new Web-based system from PEC

Solutions Inc.

The $844,533 contract calls for PEC to develop an automated system to

help Fairfax County Public Schools' Office of Food and Nutritional Services

track 135,000 daily meals by July 2001. The school system provides meals

to more than 166 public and private schools, day care centers, senior citizen

facilities and other programs.

Food managers will use the school system's intranet to log the number

and type of meals served each day. Previously, records were mailed to the

central office and entered monthly into the accounting system.

"That will save a lot of paperwork and time," said Marshall Abbate,

the office's assistant director. Furthermore, accurate reports are important

to ensure proper reimbursement for state-supported programs, he said.

PEC will update the food services division's database, which tracks

meals and revenue by category. The new system will automatically compile

the data, compute totals and generate invoices, said Gwen Forkin, director

of PEC's software-engineering center.

Fairfax-based PEC is a technology services firm that specializes in

moving government tasks online. About 95 percent of its business is with

the federal government.

The company hopes to boost its state and local government clients with

the August acquisition of Viking Technology Inc., a software and IT solutions

provider for public safety agencies, PEC spokesman John McNeilly said.

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