Navy defers NMCI payments, OKs Web initiative

Navy defers NMCI payments, OKs Web initiative

The Navy will pay Electronic Data Systems Corp. $128 million less in fiscal 2002 for funding the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet than was stated in the original task order.

A contract modification signed Sept. 25 amends the task order funds from $728 million to $600 million in fiscal 2002.

The change resulted from testing delays brought about by a disagreement between the Defense Department and the Navy. The difference will be shifted into the fiscal 2003 budget, officials said, and will not affect the overall outsourcing agreement.

'The important point is, it still is a $6.9 billion contract,' Chris Grey, an EDS spokesman, said. 'This is simply shifting funds from fiscal 2002 to fiscal 2003, and it was done in true partnership and the best interest of the Navy.'

EDS has assumed management of 42,000 seats. Under the testing agreement, the Navy will order an additional 20,000 seats this fall. After system testing, the Navy expects to order another 100,000 seats by early next year.

NMCI is an enterprisewide, managed system for voice, video and data communications that will consolidate 200 networks into one departmentwide Navy intranet, linking more than 360,000 desktop PCs. EDS has upgraded the infrastructure of 29 Navy sites and constructed 17 server farms.

EDS leads a team of contractors, known as the NMCI Information Strike Force, that create and run the intranet.

In other NMCI news, the Navy recently awarded EDS a seven-month, $9 million contract to help the department implement its Task Force Web initiative.

The initiative will integrate Navy applications, data and platforms that users can access from their PCs using a Web browser. Sailors can also personalize the knowledge portal with online Navy services.

New services

Sailors and Marines will be able to access pay, personnel and medical records, technical manuals, training syllabi, command and control, logistics and other material that was previously unavailable from their desktop PCs.

'To my knowledge, there is nothing like it in government and definitely not in the other branches of the armed forces,' said Rick Rosenburg, NMCI program client executive.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command will carry out the at-sea portion of the plan while EDS handles implementation on shore, officials said.

Navy and EDS officials will meet this month to set standards for testing and certifying new applications, services and hardware before integrating them into the intranet.

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