Northrop Grumman Corp. will install and maintain a new human resources management system known as MAXHR for the Homeland Security Department.

Northrop Grumman's Information Technology unit in Herndon will perform the work under a contract worth up to $175 million over three years, department officials said last week. The first order is worth about $2 million, according to the department.

The contract was awarded after a competition among vendors. Northrop Grumman IT's subcontractors include Watson Wyatt Worldwide of Washington, Gene Rouleau & Associates Inc. of Silver Spring, BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Catapult Technology Ltd. of Bethesda, Spectrum Solutions Group Inc. of Vienna and STG International Inc. of Alexandria.

Northrop Grumman IT's first job will be to set up the program management office and work with department officials to establish a schedule for building the system, said T. Wood Parker, president of Northrop Grumman IT's Federal Enterprise Solutions business unit.

Under subsequent orders, Northrop Grumman IT will help the department establish human resources policies, create procedures to implement the policies, implement a pilot human resources management system and gradually move all 180,000 Homeland Security Department employees to the system over the three years of the project, Parker said.

"If their compensation is messed up or the hiring process is inefficient, it will be detrimental to the mission of the department," he said. "Our goal is to have an integrated, seamless, easy-to-use HR system that will enable DHS employees to carry out those functions very easily, and that in turn will help them focus more effectively on the overall [homeland security] mission."

Northrop Grumman IT has proposed using enterprise resource planning software from Pleasanton, Calif.-based PeopleSoft Inc., Wood said. The system will take over the human resource functions now performed by about 20 different software systems. Those systems are used by the 22 agencies that were merged into the department in January 2003.

Northrop Grumman's other human resources projects include the five-year, $114 million HR Connect, a Treasury Department system similar to MAXHR. The company is also the prime contractor for the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, a nine-year, $281 million project that will result in a single HR system

Gail Repsher Emery is a staff writer at Washington Technology. For more details on contracts like these, go to