NARA chooses Harris, Lockheed for e-records system

After five years of planning and research, the National Archives and Records Administration today took the next step in dealing with the flood of electronic records agencies produce each day.

Archivist of the U.S. John Carlin announced the agency has chosen Harris Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. to design and test the Electronic Records Archive system that will be hardware- and software-independent and guarantee the authenticity of records forever.

After evaluating the two systems for 12 months, NARA officials will choose one to store, maintain and make available all federal electronic records.

“Mark my words, the Electronic Records Archive will change the world as we know it,” Carlin said today during a news conference at NARA headquarters in Washington. “We believe that having two companies compete in this first phase will optimize the ERA system design. They will hone their architecture insights on what the complete ERA system should look like and what specific tools should go into it.”

Harris of Melbourne, Fla., will receive $10.6 million and Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin will get $9.5 million in the first year for design and prototype development.

Once NARA decides on the final design, the contract is estimated to be worth up to $500 million through 2011 when the ERA system is scheduled for completion, said Kenneth Thibodeau, director of the ERA program. The initial operating capability of the system is scheduled for 2007.

Thibodeau said the prototype systems will interface with agencies to bring in records, let agencies retrieve records and conduct other business with NARA on a small scale. The Defense and Energy departments as well as the Army surgeon general and other agencies will test the prototypes.

Harris and Lockheed beat out IBM Corp. in the final competition, which required the companies to submit system architecture, demonstrate technical knowledge of records management and show successful past performance in delivering large-scale projects on schedule and on time, Carlin said.

Harris’ team includes Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Va., CACI International Inc. of Arlington, Va., and Information Manufacturing Corp. of Rocket Center, W.Va.

Lockheed Martin’s team includes BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., EDS Corp., Fenestra Technologies Corp. of Germantown, Md., History Associates Inc. of Rockville, Md., Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, and Tessella Inc. of Newton, Mass.

“The authentic retention of government records in this age of electronic records is amazingly complex.” said Don Antonucci, president of Lockheed’s Transportation and Security Solutions division. “Because of rapidly surging technologies, ERA must have the flexibility and scalability to meet NARA’s mission. We see this program as having a transformation affect on how NARA does business.”

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