Treasury to get info-sharing system

The Treasury Department has awarded EDS a contract for up to $18.5 million to create a nationwide information-sharing system for combating financial crime, terrorist financing and money laundering.

EDS will build the new data warehouse system for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. FinCEN is the Treasury bureau that is responsible under the Bank Secrecy Act for supporting law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies.

Both types of agencies will have secure network access to the new system, which will permit expanded data-mining and data-sharing activities, FinCEN officials said. Data collected for the system will come from reports that financial institutions are required to submit under the latest amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

Treasury awarded EDS a one-year contract to design the system, BSA Direct. The contract provides five option years to deploy, maintain and upgrade the system. FinCEN has set an Oct. 15, 2005, deadline for EDS to bring the data warehouse online.

Building data warehouses and providing analytical tools to detect suspicious patterns of activity is familiar ground for EDS, said Charles May, BSA Direct program manager for EDS. "We've done this many times over the years, but it hasn't got great press until the last few years," he said.

EDS will provide Web hosting for the BSA Direct system at several of its data centers in the United States. Work under the contract will begin this month, EDS officials said.

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