DHS to Monster: You’re fired

The Homeland Security Department has fired Monster, a company that provides Internet-based job search capabilities. DHS officials said today they made their decision because Monster has been unable to provide the department with access to data from more than 230,000 registered users for six months.

DHS terminated its contract with Monster Government Solutions (MGS), a subsidiary of Monster Worldwide, and warned company officials in a June 21 letter that it would seek all damages it was entitled to receive under law.

In 2003, MGS bought the QuickHire system that DHS and more than 100 other federal agencies use to enable jobseekers to apply online for federal positions.

DHS’ decision to terminate the contract goes back to January, when the QuickHire system crashed and stayed down for more than a month. An unexpectedly high number of people applying for jobs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Health and Human Services and a large number of job postings caused the system to go down.

Nearly six months later, officials say they still can’t access most of the data from 232,000 registered users at three DHS divisions: CBP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“CBP’s mission is to protect America, and we can’t do that with a hiring system that doesn’t work,” said Erlinda Byrd, a CBP spokeswoman.

In a brief written response, MGS argues that the company and CBP had agreed on how to fix QuickHire, but the agency then added other requirements and killed the contract. “We believe the termination is erroneous and we are considering our options to respond,” the statement reads.

MGS intends to deliver all applicant data to CBP, the statement continues. MGS spokeswoman Renee Henrich declined to comment further.



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