EDS lays off NMCI workers

Electronic Data Systems Corp. has laid off 10 percent of the staff for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet following the debate between Navy and Pentagon officials over how the system should be tested.

NMCI Information Strike Force—the corporation of NMCI contractors led by EDS—cut about 300 jobs, said EDS spokesman Chris Grey. The layoffs affected EDS and its subcontractors.

Those cuts come in the wake of delays that resulted from the debate between officials in the Pentagon and Navy about the level of testing the system should undergo. Those talks and the resulting agreement signed this month reduce the number of seats EDS will be able to roll out in the coming months.

The cuts are seen as a short-term measure to deal with the delay from EDS' original schedule. "Those staffing levels were appropriate to meet the original rollout schedule," Grey said. NMCI Information Strike Force plans to increase staffing in the near future.

The testing agreement outlines an event-driven timetable for the Navy's $6.9 billion effort to outsource its network infrastructure. The next milestone on that schedule comes in early winter. If the Pentagon certifies the tests on the system, the Navy and EDS will be able to roll out more seats, at which time EDS would need to hire people back.

Grey said EDS has tried to reassign the affected people elsewhere within the firm and has asked the subcontractors to do the same, if possible.

The staffing changes were made before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, Grey noted. The work needed to repair the Pentagon could shrink the number of people affected, although EDS officials did not know to what degree it would impact the overall number of layoffs.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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