Letter to the editor

This is a reply to "Where are NMCI cheap seats," posted on Feb.13.

Not surprisingly, there is still considerable debate about the actual costs of the Navy Marine Corp Internet. Unfortunately, capturing the real costs and making a fair comparison to the Navy's pre-NMCI expenditures for IT services is not as simple as visiting the EDS Web site and adding up contract line item number (CLIN) costs for a year.

In the Feb. 4 Intercepts, you indicated that Steven Ehrler, executive director of the Navy's Program Executive Office for Information Technology (PEO-IT) estimated that the average cost of a typical PC under the NMCI contract, minus amortized costs, is about $2,000 per seat each year. Without information on the "amortized costs," it's difficult to fully assess this estimate.

Nevertheless, the letter to the editor notes that the yearly cost of a fixed workstation thin client seat (CLIN 0001AD) is $2,335.92. Even without subtracting any "amortized costs" this is substantially less than the early cost projections of about $4,000 per seat each year.

Cheap shots are easy and usually based on incomplete information and cursory analyses. On balance, the Navy and the EDS Information Strike Force have made substantial headway with the NMCI program.

Let's be fair. Take a look at the CLIN list posted at the EDS Web site and consider the full range of services included with NMCI workstations. For those who may wonder why the Navy chose this course of action, please read "Recapitalizing the Navy: A Strategy for Managing the Infrastructure" at the National Academy Press Web site.

Name withheld by request

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