Contractor downplays NMCI delay

Electronic Data Systems Corp. officials downplayed a month-long postponement

of the first Navy Marine Corps Intranet installation, saying that there

will be no overall NMCI schedule delays.

EDS was to have assumed responsibility for the Naval Air Systems Command's

PCs, networks, servers and help-desk management at Patuxent River, Md.,

on Dec. 15, but the date has been shifted to Jan. 12, according to Rick

Rosenburg, the company's NMCI program executive.

The delay will occur because Navy officials didn't issue a customer

satisfaction survey until Dec. 18, and they need to receive survey results

before EDS takes over management of video and data services for them, Rosenburg

said. Navy officials need that data as part of their report to Congress

for 2001.

To avoid schedule delays, EDS officials are trying to do work at other

Naval installations, Rosenburg said. "There will be no schedule slip," he

said. "We're mitigating risk by doing work beforehand."

During a 90-day evaluation period that begins in August 2001, the Navy

will gather and submit data to Congress about NMCI while EDS stands by.

After that, company officials will catch up on NMCI orders by the end of

fiscal 2002, Rosenburg said.

NMCI has faced delays from the outset. Navy officials wanted to award

the contract by June so that the department could start making orders by

October. But the contract wasn't granted until Oct. 6 because of repeated

requests for information from Congress.

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