Local Contract

McLean Firm to Provide IT Services to Tax Bureau

By Alice Lipowicz
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, May 2, 2005; Page E04

RS Information Systems Inc. of McLean has won a contract valued at nearly $50 million to provide technology support services to the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a federal tax agency that was spun off from the former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Under the contract, RSIS will assist the office of the chief information officer at the tax bureau with networks, servers and databases and software engineering and maintenance. RSIS has opened an office for 30 engineers and other personnel on G St. NW, directly across from the tax bureau.

Rodney P. Hunt, chief executive of RSIS, co-founded the company 13 years ago. (Courtesy Rs Information Systems Inc.)

"It's a new agency with a lot of potential," said Rodney P. Hunt, president and chief executive of RSIS. "They have a lot of confidence in us," he said.

The company worked with the tax bureau during its transition from ATF, which is now known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and, under the Homeland Security Act, was transferred to the Justice Department. RSIS provided database applications, help-desk services and installation of data storage capacity, Hunt said.

RSIS, founded 13 years ago as a minority-owned small business, has grown rapidly and had revenue of $321 million in 2004, according to the company.

The new award is the latest in a string of government information-technology contracts for the privately held RSIS. They include a $409 million contract with the Energy Department and a $48 million agreement with the National Weather Service, both awarded in 2003, and a $22 million contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs, awarded last year.

In January 2003, RSIS grew too large to qualify for small-business preferences in government contracting. Now the company often competes against larger firms. "We went from being a big fish in a small pond to being a minnow in the ocean," Hunt said. "Now we're more selective about which contracts we go after."

With the retirement of RSIS co-founder W. Scott Amey earlier this year, Hunt is moving forward on his own and expects sales of $370 million in 2005. He said he also was considering a public offering and acquisitions.

"I would love to take this company public," Hunt said. "But I need to decide if I want to be answerable to Wall Street."

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer with Washington Technology. For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.

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