N/MCI contract award on hold
- By Judi Hasson
- Sep 12, 2000
The death of Rep. Herbert Bateman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Military
Readiness Subcommittee, is almost certain to delay the award of the Navy's
planned $16 billion intranet contract.
The Navy had been expected to award the contract for the Navy/Marine
Corps Intranet (N/MCI) as early as this week, but industry sources say it
will be delayed by at least a week.
Bateman, a critic of the Navy's planned $16 billion intranet contract,
died early Monday. He was 72.
Earlier this year, Bateman had criticized the Navy for failing to consult
Congress about funding for N/MCI. He was concerned that readiness funding
would be diverted to the project.
But he became a supporter of the project to link Navy and Marine facilities
worldwide with a single intranet system after meeting with Navy officials
and holding a series of hearings on the subject.
"Everyone assumes that the conference was on track to resolve the issues
and come up with a compromise that was workable," an industry source said.
"Mr. Bateman's staff has been at the epicenter of this exchange."
Industry sources said most of the issues surrounding the multibillion-dollar
project had been worked out in House and Senate negotiations over the fiscal
2001 Defense authorization bill that ended Sunday night. The only outstanding
issue is how to soften the funding impact on Naval depots and shipyards
that fear a loss of funding because of the project.
Meanwhile, lawmakers expressed sorrow over Bateman's death.
"Rep. Herb Bateman was a strong working partner throughout the many
years we served together in the U.S. Congress, particularly in fighting
for a strong military and the welfare of the men and women in uniform, their
families, and military retirees," said Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), who worked
with Bateman on the N/MCI issue.