Letter to the editor

What is the Navy getting?

This is in response to both "Why the cheap shots at NMCI?" and "Where is NMCI evidence?"

The letters to the editor posted Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 are both trying to show their points; however, with the political overlays of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract, it is hard to do.

Luckily, most sites in the assumption-of-responsibility (AOR) stage have not been losing personnel monthly, so there is some stability. After more than a year of being in AOR, they have nothing to show for it. Commands are still using outdated equipment that is slowly (in some cases, quickly) breaking or unable to meet the mission requirements. EDS will not upgrade this equipment until cutover or until it breaks.

Trying to figure out the true cost of NMCI cannot be done until after cutover of all Navy sites. Remember that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is involved, so the Navy is required to pay that bill in addition to the other services.

The author of the Feb. 26 letter used the lowest-end seat for the standard and although there will be some of those seats used, I believe the majority of seats ordered will be of the Red ($2,958.12 yearly), White ($2,863.68 yearly) and Portable ($3,699 yearly) variety.

There also are a large number of bonuses to be given for performance (about $500 per seat). Then after looking at the Gold disk contents, what other software will the buyer require to complete his/her job? All that you really receive under the contract is basic Microsoft Corp. Office products.

As for the political side of this contract, EDS has a person on the payroll whose function is dealing with Congress. Navy people have been counseled for speaking out and not supporting the program the way they should be. Senior management, because of their positions, are required to support this program to the public.

Is the Navy getting something good under this contract? I feel that yes, it is — just not fast enough and for too much of a cost. Because of the way the Navy has run information technology over the years, we have too many different systems out in the fleet.

Now, the buyer of the NMCI service will receive a semi-modern system (if you do you math, you can see that the systems EDS is providing are way below the state-of-the-shelf). I never purchase the latest technology for my home use, but my computer at home has more power than what is being offered by EDS.

Maybe the writer of the Feb. 27 letter is correct; people should get out and talk to the workers affected by this action. That way you can truthfully and actually report how NMCI is going, not what the people who have to support the program are saying. It may even show that this NMCI thing is good. Remember, we are more than 390 days into this program.

Regarding the Navy's entire legacy application problem, is there a listing of sites under AOR that if all the legacy applications were ready, then EDS would be ready also? I know of none. EDS wants it answers now; the Navy may get theirs sometime.

Based on the 60,000 seats that should have been AOR'd, EDS is making more than $10 million monthly to pay the bills with. What is the Navy really getting?

Name withheld by request

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