Accenture: Lose one, win another

The Air Force announced today it has awarded Accenture a $79.5 million contract for a new accounting and finance system. Last month, the Marine Corps pulled the plug on a $41.3 million contract with the firm for failing to meet specifications of the deal.

The Air Force contract will integrate Oracle software for a new accounting and finance system at the U.S. Transportation Command (Transcom), which oversees the transport of troops and equipment for the military.

Accenture will install and conduct training for Oracle’s E-Business Suite to build the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System. DEAMS will operate on the Global Combat Support System–Air Force infrastructure, according to a Feb. 7 statement.

“DEAMS will reengineer general funds and working capital funds processes resulting in an integrated accounting and finance system,” said Dick Honneywell, the Air Force’s DEAMS program manager.

“The selection of Accenture as the DEAMS systems integrator for Transcom is a key step toward enterprise resource planning efforts supporting DOD’s modernization of our business systems,” said Frank Weber, director of the Operations Support Systems Wing (OSSG) in the Enterprise Systems Center located at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. OSSG oversees the procurement and operation of Air Force business systems.

Accenture will develop and conduct a technology demonstration of a fully capable DEAMS in 2007 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., the headquarters of Transcom. Transcom, Air Force and Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials will assess the progress and report results to the Defense Department before the system is deployed to other Transcom, Air Force and DOD sites through 2010.

The Air Force awarded the firm-fixed price task order using DOD’s Enterprise Software Initiative Blanket Purchase Agreement under the General Services Administration schedule. The service awarded Oracle a $22.7 million task order in July to purchase the software for DEAMS.

However, the selection is causing controversy in the defense industry because the Marines Corps gave Accenture a stop-work order last month and then terminated a contract worth $41.3 million for the company to integrate Oracle's E-Business Suite for the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps.

The Marines said Accenture failed to deliver substantial documentation in support of the system’s detailed design review. The company also did not comply with cost, schedule and performance baselines and risk assessments for the next phase of the program, according to the Marines.

The Marines issued the stop-work order Dec. 22 and sent Accenture the termination letter in January. The service plans to recompete for the contract. Accenture declined to comment on the Marine contract.

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