Forwarded by: grepcat <grepcatat_private> Washington Post August 1, 2001 Pg. E1 By Vernon Loeb and Greg Schneider, Washington Post Staff Writers The National Security Agency yesterday awarded a 10-year contract worth more than $2 billion to Computer Sciences Corp. and more than a dozen partners in what NSA officials called the largest effort by a U.S. intelligence agency to entrust its information technology systems to a private contractor. With the Bush administration engaged in a comprehensive review of the nation's intelligence capabilities, the award represents a clear acknowledgment by NSA officials that the agency has fallen behind the technological curve and now needs the private sector to modernize its Cold War infrastructure. The contract, dubbed Project Groundbreaker, also represents a major departure for the NSA, which has long prided itself on developing much of its own computer and signals intelligence technology. "Technology is moving much faster today than it ever has and it's very hard to keep up with it. One of the things that makes sense is to bring commercial experience and commercial best practices into the government," said Thomas C. Robinson, president of Computer Sciences' defense group. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the NSA's director, said the contract "allows us to refocus assets on the agency's core mission of providing foreign signals intelligence and protecting U.S. national security-related information systems." One intelligence community official called the contract "unprecedented in terms of the scale of the effort, taking advantage of the private sector's ability to make technical inroads and modernize rapidly. It could very well be replicated by other intelligence agencies, if the effort is successful." While many of the requirements included in the contract involve non-classified computing and telecommunications services, Computer Sciences and its partners also will be responsible for designing and maintaining classified systems used for the management of electronic signals and digital data intercepted around the globe. California-based CSC formed a partnership on the contract with Logicon, a Herndon-based unit of Northrop Grumman Corp. The joint venture is known as the Eagle Alliance, and will be led by Robinson. The team was selected over groups led by AT&T Corp. and OAO Technology Solutions Inc. Agency officials said the contract, which will become "fully operational" by Nov. 1, includes financial incentives to support the hiring of 750 NSA employees by the contractors at "comparable or better pay, benefits and opportunities." Computer Sciences officials said the company's experience in moving federal employees to the private sector through outsourcing was a key factor in winning the contract. The company delivered a feasibility study leading up to Project Groundbreaker in which it absorbed about 75 NSA civil servants. It also undertook a similar outsourcing program for the Army in the past few years, a $680 million job called the Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program. Under that program, about 200 Army employees became CSC employees, the company said. "We're seeing more interest in the government going to industry to try to bring in best practices to improve their situation, to help them modernize. They don't have enough money to recapitalize and modernize," Robinson said. NSA employees who do not accept private-sector positions under the contract might be eligible for transfers within the agency, according to one NSA official. While there is no immediate prospect for layoffs, the official did not rule them out for employees who decline to go to work for the contractors. CSC's other partners include General Dynamics Corp., Keane Federal Systems Inc., Omen Inc., ACS Defense Inc., BTG Inc., CACI International Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., TRW Inc., Windemere, Fiber Plus, Verizon and Superior Communications. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Aug 06 2001 - 03:15:18 PDT