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US invests $491 million to improve Immigration

IBM awarded contract to deliver a more efficient immigration system 10 November 2008.

The Department of Homeland Security for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has decided to invest heavily on technology to provide a faster, more efficient and accurate immigration benefits determination and processing. The underlying assumption is that the speeding up of the immigration procedures is key to improved national security.

The technology and services contract to build a new centralized and consolidated electronic environment has been awarded to IBM on 06 November, for an initial value of $14.5 million with options up to $491.1 million over five years.

The assignment is part of an on-going multidimensional USCIS effort to transform its business processes and will serve as a key piece to enable the Agency to speed benefits determination, combat identity fraud, and reduce processing time backlogs.

The outcome will be an important model for other agencies seeking to transform the delivery of key government services, claims Charles L Prow, managing partner at IBM Global Business Services’ government division. Awarded in November 2008, the initial contract value is $14.5 million with options up to $491.1 million over five years.

The USCIS receives approximately 6 million – 8 million applications annually for immigration benefits, such as employment visas, legal permanent residence and citizenship. The determination process is currently carried out through a paper intensive system that has suffered from backlogs as the number of applications have increased, and security requirements have been strengthened.

IBM will support USCIS’ efforts to modernize the agency’s processing procedures using advanced information technologies, and introduce new capabilities such as the use of person-centric customer accounts.

To deliver the contract, IBM has assembled a team of partners that includes Blackstone Technology Group, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, Evolver, The Legacy Network, Sandler and Travis Trade Advisory Services (STTAS), Sapient Corporation, SI International, Unisys, and Visionary Integration Professionals, among others.

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