Friday, 4 June 2004

US-VISIT prime contract for up to US$10 billion goes to Accenture

A consortium led by Accenture LLP has been awarded the prime contract for up to US$10 billion (suject to for the “US-VISIT” visitor surveillance system, according to an announcement by the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Accenture was originally Andersen Consulting, the consulting division of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. Accenture was separated from the accounting business in 2000 as a separate company, re-named and incorporated in Bermuda.

Arthur Andersen accounting later went out of business after being convicted of obstruction of justice for its complicity in its client Enron’s financial shenanigans. Accenture has survived, but not without criticism, especially of its government services outsourcing contracts — exactly the sort of contract that’s now been awarded for US-VISIT.

Aside from the criticism of US-VISIT itself and of Accenture, criticism of the contract has focused on its vagueness and cost, and “concern that Homeland Security is so unsure of what it wants to do that it is content to contract out management,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it. Another observer is quoted by the Journal as saying that spending on homeland security, “puts us in a mode comparable to the Cold War, where no investment is too large to achieve the aims even if the aims are unachievable; symbolism and making gigantic investments may be more important than real results.”

Link | Posted by Edward on Friday, 4 June 2004, 16:07 ( 4:07 PM)
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