DOD top brass will outsource network management, security

DOD top brass will outsource network management, security

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

JULY 31—The Office of the Secretary of Defense plans to outsource all common applications and information security services for its 5,500 unclassified users.

The contract "will give us one belly button to push" and make it easier to measure vendor performance, said Paul Brubaker, deputy chief information officer for the Defense Department. At least 15 contractors already manage some portion of OSD's systems enterprise, so the new contract would consolidate those services, he said. And, roughly 95 percent of the systems staff in the CIO's office are contract employees.

OSD will mandate that all its users shift common apps and security requirements to the contract. The OSD organizations will have the option of purchasing other services through the outsourcing deal, he said. Those services will be LAN management, desktop PC management and applications unique to the individual organizations.

"We think there will be several organizations within OSD that will outsource all four areas," which is what the CIO's office plans to do, Brubaker said.

OSD has a mixture of asynchronous transfer mode, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet networks. "We want to go to Gigabit [Ethernet] to the desktop," said Scott Ducar, technical director of network operations in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence.

The first phase of the project will begin late this year.

It makes sense for OSD to hand off the network and systems security work to vendors because the CIO's office is "not an operational organization," Brubaker said.

The question of how to handle OSD's systems operations arose last July, Brubaker said. It was precipitated by deputy Defense secretary John Hamre's decision to give Arthur L. Money, CIO and assistant secretary of Defense for C3I, control over OSD's systems.

"We're in the policy business. We'd like to turn it over to a vendor," he said. The outsourcing contract will cover 7,000 nodes on the Nonclassified IP Router Network.

Rather than hold a full-and-open competition, OSD will use either a General Services Administration schedule contract or a governmentwide acquisition contract to purchase the services, Brubaker said.

The outsourcing procurement will be a performance-based contract with incentives for good performance and penalties for poor performance. "Either they're going to be meeting the goals or they're not," he said.

Meanwhile, the Network Infrastructure Services Agency-Pentagon (NISA-P), a fee-for-service organization that manages many Pentagon offices' systems, plans to outsource the building's backbone network services. The OSD subnetwork would be covered by this procurement. NISA-P officials plan to use an existing governmentwide acquisition contract for the outsourcing project, he said.

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