IT outsourcing company Accenture has been awarded a Blanket Purchase Agreement to install an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, to support the FBI’s Human Resources Information System (HRIS).

Under the terms of the contract, Accenture will oversee selection, installation, testing and support to the agency’s HR systems. It will also complete a 'fit gap' analysis to determine the possible future cost of replacing the FBI’s current HRIS systems.

“By modernising its Human Resources information System, the FBI will be able to increase effectiveness and streamline processes,” said John Matchette, who leads Accenture’s Federal Public Safety practice. “These improvements will help the FBI develop a modern, on-demand system for accessing personnel information.”

The BPA was awarded under the General Services Administration IT schedule that provides technology support services to the FBI. The contract cover one base year with four optional extensions.

Accenture will be required to submit a report with recommendations the FBI can use to determine whether to customise software, re-engineer business processes or combine both options to support future needs.

The news comes amid reports that an FBI project to develop a digital case-management system to replace outdated, paper-based processes has been delayed again, despite the agency's decision to use 'agile development' to hasten its completion.

The system, called Sentinel, is now due to be deployed in May 2012 – two years past its original due date and eight months later than the FBI planned when it embarked on the agile development strategy.

According to a report from the US Department of Justice Inspector General's Office, released in December, a four-hour test of the system in October 2011 resulted in two outages. The FBI attributed the glitches to overburdened legacy computer hardware and said the hardware will need to be upgraded to support Sentinel's use across the agency.

Despite the delays, Sentinel is currently within its $451 million budget. However, The  report expressed concern that the delays, together with the need for additional hardware, could push the project over budget.