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Millions Wasted

Senate committee ends investigation into bungled record-keeping system
The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee last week concluded a months-long investigation into an ill-fated business-technology project for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board that wasted millions in federal retirement assets.

American Management Systems, whose assets were acquired in May by CGI Group and CACI International Inc., was hired in the late 1990s to develop a record-keeping system for participants and beneficiaries of a retirement-savings plan for civilian employees of the U.S. government and uniformed service members. Budgeted at $29.7 million and due for completion in May 2000, the project also was to provide members with online access to retirement accounts. Costs quickly ballooned to $65 million because of extra charges and delays, and Materials, Communications and Computers Inc., subsequently acquired by SI International, was called in to complete the project at a cost of $33 million.

The committee sent a letter criticizing the agency and AMS to board chairman Andrew Saul. It's waiting to hear back before determining its next step.

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