Prime Contract Awarded To Modernize U.S. Customs Automated Systems

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WASHINGTON, D.C - 27 Apr 2001: U.S. Customs Acting Commissioner Charles W. Winwood today announced the award of the Customs Modernization Prime Integration Contract to the e-Customs Partnership led by the IBM Global Services. The contract provides for development of an estimated $1.3 billion Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) system to dramatically streamline Customs commercial processing systems.

"Selection of the Prime Integration Contractor is an important first step in providing U.S. Customs with state-of-the-art technology essential to expediting movement of commerce," said Acting Commissioner Winwood. "We can now begin the process of bringing 21st century business practices to America's borders. Customs modernization will also dramatically enhance our ability to intercept contraband."

The key companies in the e-Customs Partnership are the IBM Global Services, as the Prime Contractor; Lockheed Martin Mission Systems; KPMG Consulting; Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC); and Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services (STTAS), Inc. The e-Customs Partnership also includes Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc.; ITS Services, Inc.; and more than 40 small businesses.

The team's name, "e-Customs Partnership," conveys a vision of Customs future as a paperless organization that uses electronic means to carry out mission responsibilities. IBM Global Services will lead and manage the e-Customs Partnership. Lockheed Martin Mission Systems will develop and integrate new systems and software. KPMG Consulting will contribute business transformation, knowledge management, and training expertise. CSC brings expertise in information security and telecommunications, and STTAS will provide global trade and customs expertise to the e-Customs Partnership. Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Inc., ITS Services, Inc., and the more than 40 small businesses will contribute specialized knowledge of Customs operations and expertise in particular areas.

With the challenges of explosive growth in international trade and travel and ever-increasing law enforcement demands, Customs must enhance its operations. Modernization includes the reengineering of Customs operational processes and the development of a new technology infrastructure, computer systems, and software applications to support these processes. Modernization will address Customs commercial, enforcement, and administrative operations.

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government, and U.S. Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government, are among the supporters of U.S. Customs Modernization.

Senator Dorgan said, "Today's announcement of the ACE Prime contractor marks a major milestone in the Customs Service critical modernization effort. ACE is the principle tool that will facilitate the expeditious and efficient processing of legitimate cross border trade. I am committed to ensuring that the funds Congress has appropriated, and which we will continue to appropriate, will be spent wisely for the benefit of American business and the American consumer."

Representative Hoyer said, "The global economy has significantly increased the traffic of goods and people crossing our borders so it is important that the Customs Service has the technology to meet those demands head-on. Awarding the Prime contract is a significant step in advancing this critically important modernization project. The Administration and Congress must ensure that Customs receives the resources to complete this job in a timely manner."

"The Prime Integration Contractor will help us design, build, and implement new information systems," said S.W. Hall, Jr., Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information and Technology and Customs Chief Information Officer. "The e-Customs Partnership, a team of top-notch companies and highly qualified professionals, has successfully executed large information systems projects similar to Customs Modernization. The team's business knowledge and technical capabilities, combined with the operational knowledge of dedicated Customs employees, as well as input from stakeholders like the trade community, is our blueprint for successfully building modernized systems that meet Customs and stakeholder needs."

With the first appropriation of funding obtained in FY 2001 through key Congressional supporters and a Prime Integration Contractor on-board, Customs is launching its first Modernization project development of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), Customs new, high-tech trade system.

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