The federal Office of Personnel(OPM) has pulled the plug on a massive five-year, $5 billion HR project that would have revamped the government’s system for managing HR processes and training civil servants.
The sudden decision angered dozens of HR consulting firms that had spent years preparing bid proposals, according to the Washington Post. They submitted proposals 15 months ago, and had expected to find out who won this month.
“OPM has provided little meaningful explanation to help [companies] understand why their combined investment of literally tens of millions of dollars is now being effectively thrown away,” said a statement issued by the Professional Services Council, an industry group representing more than 370 federal contractors.
The project would have restructured the government’s Customized Human Resources Solutions Services system, which has guided federal HR activities for 25 years.
An initial OPM announcement relied on bureaucratese to explain the decision to scrap the contract: “OPM has determined it is necessary to redefine the requirement to align the capabilities of the resultant contract with the evolution of both governmentwide and OPM strategic goals, strategic sourcing considerations, current budgetary realities across government and to better support the mission of the federal agencies that OPM serves and deliver better service to the American public.”
A later OPM statement clarified that the contract was canceled “primarily because the requirements of the government have changed significantly over the 15 months.”
OPM is expected to issue a new request for proposals later this year.