Navy gets more time for intranet rollout

Navy gets more time for intranet rollout

The Senate passed a bill last week extending the $6.9 billion Navy-Marine Corps Intranet contract from five years to seven years.

Introduced by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy, the bill gives the Navy more time to prepare and implement NMCI before the agency decides whether to continue the contract during the three one-year option years.

"Davis and a number of bipartisan colleagues introduced the legislation to authorize an extension of the NMCI contract because they believe this is an extremely important project that would be jeopardized without the extension," said David Marin, spokesman for Davis.

The bill is awaiting approval by President Bush.

A Navy official said the extension would not affect the contract costs. Electronic Data Systems Corp. is the lead vendor.

"They can amortize their costs, and we can decide whether we want to deal with the option years," the official said.

For months, the Navy has lobbied for legislators to extend the contract beyond the five-year base period to give the Navy time to use NMCI before officials were forced to consider entering into the contract's option periods.

Although the contract was awarded in October 2000, it has suffered from delays partly attributable to Office of Secretary of Defense testing demands and to cutover problems at some sites because of tens of thousands of legacy applications, Navy officials said.

The Navy had anticipated having 100,000 seats cutover to the NMCI environment at this point in the contract. They have 39,000 seats cutover.

NMCI is an enterprisewide system that will link voice, video, and data communications throughout the Navy Department.

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