US-VISIT work starts with management

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As the prime integrator for the Homeland Security Department's massive immigrant tracking system, Accenture will first have to build out program management to help DHS meet the next implementation deadline.

DHS officials announced today that Accenture, based in Reston, Va., will be the main contractor for the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. The first task order, for one year, includes developing an overarching program management structure. The second order will be helping the department implement the program at the 50 busiest land ports by Dec. 31, 2004, DHS officials said today.

"We recognized from the outset that we wanted to have a private sector partner in this effort," DHS undersecretary Asa Hutchinson said at a press briefing.

The five-year base contract includes five one-year options. The minimum value of the contract through task orders is $10 million with a maximum value of $10 billion, although DHS officials said they do not expect to hit that ceiling.

Accenture officials estimated that their proposals for the first two task orders would cost $72 million. A third task order will follow for systems engineering to look at further integrating legacy systems for better information sharing, officials said.

US-VISIT's actual cost depends on future policies, program development and congressional decisions, Hutchinson said.

"The future of US-VISIT is not going to be determined by this contractor," Hutchinson said. "We don't turn over our border security decisions and plans to the private sector, but we do want to utilize their experience

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