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San Diego County awards $644 million outsourcing contract

A group of companies led by Computer Sciences jumps the final hurdle to be officially awarded a $644 million seven-year outsourcing contract to build a "virtual government" for San Diego County.

A group of companies led by Computer Sciences has jumped the final hurdle to be officially awarded a $644 million seven-year outsourcing contract to build a "virtual government" for San Diego County.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors announced the signed computer services outsourcing deal today. The contract, approved unanimously, is the largest outsourcing deal ever signed by a local government agency in the United States.

IBM Global Services and EDS also competed for the contract.

A similar government deal between Plano, Texas-based EDS and the State of Connecticut fell apart earlier this year following a political battle over whether it was best to privatize the state's information technology services.

The so-called Pennant Alliance team in San Diego will be led by CSC and includes Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Pacific Bell, and Lucent Technologies. Together, these companies employ more than 11,000 San Diego county residents.

The outsourcing contract covers telecommunications and computer services, as well as software applications, help desk, networks, desktop and data center operations, and telephones and pagers, according to CSC. About 290 county employees now have the option to join CSC or SAIC with an immediate 7 percent salary increase and guaranteed employment in San Diego County for a minimum of two years.