Army Corps of Engineers reshapes IT management

With the A-76 competition finally settled, the Corps will take central control of its information technology infrastructure under two directorates.

Army Corps of Engineers to manage own IT

The Army Corps of Engineers is about to embark on a reorganization of its information management and information technology (IM/IT) operations.

The consolidation will be accomplished through a contract with a partnership that pairs in-house Corps capabilities with Lockheed Martin.

The winning team, led by Lockheed, settled a protest with Northrop Grumman on April 17, allowing the project to proceed starting May 15. The protest had been pending since August 2006.

“This contract will be transforming the Corps’ IM/IT organizational structure and its service delivery approach,” said Will Berrios, the Corps’ chief information officer, who spoke April 26 at a breakfast gathering in Vienna, Va., sponsored by Input.

Berrios described the scope of the contract as “all encompassing, the whole nine yards.”

The Corps works on civil water resource projects and provides construction management services to military services and agencies. It operates in 93 countries and employs 32,000 people.

The Corps conducted the IM/IT competition under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76, which provides guidelines for competing commercial functions with the private sector. The contract was the first by a Defense Department agency under the latest A-76 version, Berrios said.

“We will be moving from a distributed to an enterprise command and control model,” he said. “This will involve consolidating 55 autonomous IT service entities into one IT community with two components.”

Currently, individual service organizations in each Corps district provide IM/IT services. After the shift is complete, all of the agency’s IM/IT will be organized in two central directorates.

The Corporate Information Directorate will provide policy, guidance, requirements gathering, planning, and service delivery oversight. The IT Directorate will see to the day-to-day operations of the systems’ administration and operating an agencywide call center.

Operating a single agency call desk will represent a major improvement, Berrios said. “The customer will make one call instead of contacting various centers, depending on the problem,” he added.

The service desk will run the entire troubleshooting process and will operate a real-time system through which callers can track the status of their tickets, Berrios said.

“This will provide an improved and more consistent level of service,” he added.

The IM/IT contract lifecycle encompasses nine years: a one-year phase-in, a five-year performance period, and a three-year optional extension.

Corps used a fixed price and cost-reimbursable type contract that could be worth as much as $400 million. Berrios said he expects the second component to boost the total contract value by 35 percent to 45 percent.

Buxbaum is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Md.

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