Navy assesses small-biz impact of intranet deal

The Small Business Administration last week urged the Navy to disclose the

number of small businesses that could be cut off from future Navy business

once the service awards its $16 billion intranet contract.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development

and Acquisition has transmitted a "data call" to Navy contracting offices

requesting a list of all small businesses that currently hold prime contracts

with Navy units.

The Navy initiated the data call after the SBA expressed concern that

the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (N/MCI) contract, slated for award in June,

may end the chances of many small businesses to sell services to the Navy.

In an official e-mail message obtained by Federal Computer Week, a Navy

contracting official explained that "the small business community is concerned

about lost opportunities to serve the government as a prime contractor resulting

from implementation of N/MCI. Therefore, SBA has requested certain information

and [the Navy] has agreed to provide statistics on small business firms

that will be displaced by N/MCI."

N/MCI is designed to serve 700,000 Navy and Marine Corps users. It would

connect to ships and units through the Information Technology for the 21st

Century project, which will connect bases with ships using commercial networks.

Naval and Marine bases overseas also would hook into the intranet. A single

contractor team from among four possible primes will win the deal when the

Navy awards the contract in June.

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