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Accenture Group Wins Security Deal

June 02, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Accenture Ltd. led a group that won a contract worth as much as $10 billion to develop a system to help the Department of Homeland Security track visitors to the United States.

Accenture's group beat out offers by El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

The Accenture group is made up of 30 companies, including San Diego-based Titan Corp., Dell Inc., Raytheon Co. and SRA International Inc.

It was unclear how much of a boost Titan would get from the contract. A Titan spokesman acknowledged that it was a subcontractor on the deal, but referred all questions about the contract to Accenture.

As part of the US-VISIT program to protect against terrorism, the Accenture-led group will help set up and administer the new technologies and procedures needed to track the 300 million foreigners who visit the U.S. each year, the department said. The package has a minimum value of $10 million but could be worth up to $10 billion, officials said.

Launched nationwide at airports and seaports in January, US-VISIT requires most foreign visitors to have a digital photo and inkless finger scans taken by an immigration officer who checks them against watch lists and other databases.

More than 4.5 million people have been screened at 115 airports and seaports.

Accenture, formerly called Andersen Consulting, will help extend the program to land crossings from Mexico and Canada by the end of the year.

Accenture beat out Computer Sciences and Lockheed Martin. Lockheed had been considered the odds-on favorite because of its experience in similar areas.

Analyst David M. Garrity, director of research for Caris & Co., said in a note to investors that if CSC had won the Homeland Security contract it would have had only an incremental effect on its earnings.

CSC is enjoying "an embarrassment of riches in its robust new business bookings," he said. One of those recent deals is a $1.6-billion contract with Sears, Roebuck & Co., Garrity said, in which CSC will take over the retailer's data processing and information technology work.

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