IT budget cuts

A $416.2 billion fiscal 2005 Defense Department budget now awaits President Bush's signature for passage into law.

Congress approved the 2005 Defense Appropriations Act July 22, with almost $500 million in decreases to information technology spending. House and Senate conferees agreed to the budget just after midnight that day.

To express their displeasure with DOD's progress on updating its business systems, lawmakers decreased the budget of the Business Management Modernization Program by $97 million and the Horizontal Fusion portfolio by $70 million.

New NCES director

A high-level Marine Corps IT official will lead DOD's initiative to improve information sharing for warfighters and intelligence analysts.

Military officials named Debra Filippi program director for the Defense Information Systems Agency's Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES). Filippi was deputy chief information officer and deputy director for command, control, communications and computers for the Marines.

Established in 2002, NCES will create a communications infrastructure that will let troops and analysts access military and intelligence networks by customizing searches for information and combining intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to clearly identify enemy forces.

DFAS updates

On July 18, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service updated the Defense Industrial Financial Management System to reduce DOD's data-processing costs by $11 million annually.

The system now uses hardware manufactured by IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. It previously used equipment made by Unisys Corp.

DFAS represents the world's largest finance and accounting operation. In fiscal 2003, the organization paid 5.9 million people, processed 12.3 million contractor invoices, managed $194 billion in military trust funds and disbursed $416 billion.

On July 2, DOD completed the first part of a computer server consolidation project.

Officials at DISA's Center for Computing Services consolidated DFAS servers from 10 sites to three. They will call the new facilities Systems Management Centers, according to a July 2 DISA statement.

Officials completed Phase 1 early and under budget, according to the statement.

DISA officials found 41 server applications at the 10 DFAS sites. In Phase 2, officials will consolidate the remaining server applications and build a backup infrastructure for the system by next spring, according to the statement.

New comptroller

Also on July 22, the Senate confirmed Tina Jonas as undersecretary of Defense and comptroller.

Bush nominated Jonas in March to take over for Dov Zakheim, who retired in April. She most recently held the position of chief financial officer and assistant director of the FBI's finance division and previously served as deputy undersecretary of Defense for financial management.

During an April hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jonas said that as DOD comptroller she would first investigate why some deployed National Guard troops received late and inaccurate paychecks. She also said she would continue efforts to update the department's business systems.

Stratcom hires CSC

An industry team led by Computer Sciences Corp. will provide IT services for the military's Strategic Command in a contract worth up to $525 million. Stratcom oversees missile and computer defense operations.

Air Force officials awarded the IT Capabilities Contract to CSC July 26. The $59 million deal covers one year with nine one-year options, according to a DOD announcement.

Stratcom officials want the CSC team to operate and maintain hardware; issue software licenses; provide local-area network and Internet access; support systems, 4,000 users and a mobile command center; and administer IT help-desk and training services.

NetCents team

ManTech International Corp. officials assembled an industry team to pursue work on the Air Force's new enterprise procurement, the Network-Centric Solutions contract.

ManTech's team consists of:

American Systems Corp.

Apptis Inc.

BAE Systems

Data Systems and Technology Inc.

EMC Corp.

Engineering Professional Services Inc.

Excel Management Systems Inc.

Imagine One Technology and Management Ltd.

Integration Information Technology Corp.

Millenium Information Systems LLC

The Moore Group

Mutual Telecomm Services Inc.

Native American Industrial Distributors Inc.

Qwest Communications Government Services Inc.

Air Force officials issued the NetCents request for proposals in April. They plan to award the $10 billion contract to four midsize and large vendors and three small businesses later this year.

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