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Saturday, September 09, 2006

USDA SELECTS DENVER FOR NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SITE

"WASHINGTON, Sept., 8, 2006- The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the Denver Financial Center has been selected as the new primary information technology site for the USDA National Finance Center (NFC). The NFC headquarters will remain in New Orleans, La.

NFC, one of the largest employers in New Orleans, is a federal center of excellence for payroll and human resource functions, serving several federal agencies. With more than 1,300 employees, NFC provides support services to approximately 585,000 federal civilian employees. The center of excellence concept is designed to provide economies of scale and reduce costs. The economy of scale of the NFC has saved between $30 and $100 per employee per year as additional federal agencies have contracted with the center.

In a prior continuity of operations review the management of NFC recommended moving the primary information technologies center from the local area due to the periodic risk of hurricanes. The administration and the Congress agreed with the recommendation and appropriated funding for the new location.

While the project team was completing the site requirements for the primary data center, NFC was evacuated due to an ensuing hurricane. Hurricane Katrina required the relocation of staff. The data center was moved to a short-term disaster recovery center. Damage assessment from Katrina to NFC reconfirmed the need for a long-term primary computer
center outside of the hurricane-prone area.

The Denver site was selected from four currently or soon to be vacant federal data centers. The final selection was between Albuquerque, NM and Denver, CO. Factors that influenced the selection included cost, infrastructure, and employable technical talent.

USDA, one of the largest federal departments, supports operations for the USDA's Natural Resources and Environment; Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Rural Development; Food Safety; and Research Education and Economics. "

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