Project's first phase will take 15 months

Project's first phase will take 15 months

BY PATRICIA DAUKANTAS | GCN STAFF

The initial building phase of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet was supposed to be over in three months, but now it looks more like 15 months, according to a government source close to the project.

The Navy had counted on three months before awarding the NMCI contract to Electronic Data Systems Corp. last October, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

'I think the Navy was unrealistic when they thought it would be only one quarter,' she said. Observers outside the Navy had expected the initial phase to take one year.

The source, who meets regularly but separately with Navy and EDS officials to discuss NMCI, said the pace of work was not a major concern to her. She said she wants them to 'get it right.'

She pointed out two unresolved issues: the concept of network areas of responsibility, and Navy reservists' access to NMCI services.

In the first phase, EDS and its subcontractors will connect about 45,000 seats to the intranet, half of which belong to the Naval Air Systems Command.

Base runner

A Navy base, however, typically houses personnel from offices and commands not part of the initial phase of NMCI. In that case, it is unclear who would assume responsibility.

EDS wants to broaden its area of responsibility, but the Navy has not yet accepted that change, the source said. The matter is under deliberation and will probably be decided in the next few weeks.
The House Armed Services Committee recently reorganized for the 107th Congress, with Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) assuming the chairmanship of the Military Readiness Subcommittee. Last year, Rep. Herbert H. Bateman (R-Va.) used his chairmanship of that subcommittee to raise numerous questions about NMCI before his death in September [GCN, Oct. 16, 2000, Page 45].

It is now up to Weldon to decide whether to hold any hearings on NMCI, but none has been scheduled yet.

Joseph 'Mickey' McDermott, the General Accounting Office's assistant director for information management, said he has been discussing NMCI with lawmakers monthly. He also meets monthly with Navy officials.

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