Pragmatics Inc. of McLean won a contract potentially worth $65 million over five years for software-testing services for the customs and border-protection agency, part of the Homeland Security Department.

Pragmatics will verify that software the customs agency buys carries out its intended functions quickly enough. For example, if the agency identifies a problem with its software and the original developer fixes it, Pragmatics testers verify that the new code works properly and that it does not disable or interfere with other functions in the system, said Kim Nguyen, vice president for special programs.

The contract is the largest yet for the 20-year-old company. "We are actually testing a large majority of CBP's systems," Nguyen said.

Pragmatics is testing software used in major agency programs such as the U.S. Visit program, which processes international travelers at airports and major land border crossings, and the Automated Commercial System, which processes imports and exports crossing the borders.

"You can imagine the anger that would result if there were long delays at the borders," Nguyen said.

Pragmatics also will be checking the software CBP uses to pay its employees and to manage departmental finances.

The company will perform the work under a blanket purchase agreement that lets the agency place orders for testing services as needed. Pragmatics, which has about 300 employees, won the contract in a competition with other small businesses.

Under other contracts, the software and systems engineering company is building two major components of the Pentagon's Global Command and Control System, maintaining the Justice Department's Web site at www.usdoj.gov, and building bank examination software for the Treasury Department.

Wilson P. Dizard III is a staff writer with Washington Technology. For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.