CMS consolidating systems

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has awarded a $401 million contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. to consolidate operations of the agency's computer networks and systems for its employees nationwide.

Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will manage and operate CMS' information technology infrastructure, including its mainframe and desktop computers, computer services, voice communications infrastructure and help desk.

Ron Graham, the acting director of the technology management group in the CMS Office of Information Services, said May 16 that the new contract would consolidate systems and provide more efficient services to employees.

The contract, awarded through the National Institutes of Health's Chief Information Officers Solutions and Partners II (CIOSP-II), replaces one that had been awarded to Computer Sciences Corp., Science Applications International Corp. and a variety of subcontractors.

In the previous contracting arrangement, Graham said the government acted as the general contractor.

"When problems occurred and there were changes in the environment, we had to coordinate," Graham said. "It caused problems, and that inefficiency cost money. The benefit we will gain will allow us to be more efficient and allow us to save money."

"This is an important step in our efforts to create a more efficient, effective CMS," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said May 2, upon the announcement of the contract award. Thompson said the contract would allow for streamlined management and greater innovation in serving people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid services.

Lockheed Martin Information Technology will assume responsibility for operating the agency's main data center in Woodlawn, Md. The company also will manage, operate and maintain all voice, video and data communications networks, including all local-, wide- and value-added networks.

"Clearly, there are few IT projects in our country more important to so many Americans," Linda Gooden, president of Lockheed Martin Information Technology, said May 16.

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