Lawmaker asks Navy to delay intranet buy

Lawmaker asks Navy to delay intranet buy

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

The Navy's $10 billion intranet services procurement has come under fire again, this time from the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Readiness.

Rep. Herbert H. Bateman (R-Va.) in a Feb. 4 letter asked Navy Secretary Richard Danzig to halt the Navy'Marine Corps Intranet procurement for voice, video and data services.

Bateman said he is concerned about the lack of documents for the project in the service's fiscal 2000 and 2001 budget materials.

The Navy wants to award a contract by June and is reviewing initial bids from four vendor teams: Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and IBM Corp. [GCN, Feb. 21, Page 8].

The Navy has not produced a business case analysis or a cost-benefit analysis of the project, Bateman said. 'I request that you delay the acquisition and implementation of this initiative until it is fully developed, is included in the future budget request, and receives the proper level of congressional oversight,' he wrote.

Jennifer McGraw, spokeswoman for the Navy Program Executive Office for Information Technology, said, 'The Department of the Navy is working very closely with the [House Armed Services Committee] professional staff to fully inform them about NMCI and to alleviate any concerns they may have.'

Last month, the service awarded contracts to Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. of McLean, Va., and GartnerGroup Inc. of Stamford, Conn., to perform a six-month, $2 million business case analysis for NMCI. The analysis will measure the cost structure for voice, video and data services at Navy bases and offices.

Lawmakers want to know how much money NMCI will save, said Rick Rosenburg, program executive for EDS. 'I don't think it's going to derail the procurement,' he said.

With the proposals in hand, Navy officials can give Bateman's staff specific figures, he said. 'It's a large program. Congress has not been briefed to the extent they want to be briefed,' he said.

Bateman, who has announced his plans to retire at the end of this term, is one among a group of NMCI critics.

Navy undersecretary Jerry M. Hultin said, 'There are a lot of people inside of a five-sided building that don't like the way we're headed [with NMCI] because we're running faster than anyone thought we would. But we've been down, and we'll continue to fight."


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