NMCI decision set for May 3

Decision day for the Navy's initiative to create a single network for its shore-based facilities will be May 3, Defense Department officials have told the Navy.

The decision is a significant milestone for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. The law authorizing NMCI stipulated that the Navy would first roll out 60,000 seats to prove the feasibility of the concept.

Under a September 2001 agreement, John Stenbit, DOD's chief information officer, and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, must approve the pilot sites' progress before the project can proceed. That would allow the Navy to lease an additional 100,000 seats of the 411,000 total seats.

During an April 12 meeting, Pentagon officials told NMCI director Rear Adm. Charles Munns that they would make the decision May 3.

NMCI is a $6.9 billion initiative to eliminate hundreds of separate networks and create a single one for all of the Navy's shore-based sites.

Munns, who was named NMCI director in February, has been intensely focused on the "milestone one" decision and testing the network, which will largely provide the data for DOD's decision.

"We are happy with the progress we have made," Munns said. "We believe we are moving in the right direction in the right way, and we have a firm date for the decision."

Meanwhile, the Navy is already investigating the possibility of extending the current contract with lead vendor EDS, Munns said.

Navy officials are considering modifying the contract so the start date would coincide with the approval of milestone one.

The Navy would like to have some time to use NMCI before officials are faced with entering the contract's three-year option period, Munns said April 11 in a speech at AFCEA's Naval Information Technology Day in Vienna, Va.

NMCI is a five-year contract valued at $4.1 billion, with an additional three-year option that brings the total value of the contract to $6.9 billion.

NMCI officials said that the idea behind the extension is for the Navy to start the five-year contract period when NMCI passes its first milestone. Otherwise, the Navy would have to make a decision about the three-year option about two years after it gets all of NMCI's seats rolled out. Munns said the target date for that is December 2003.

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Milestones for NMCI

Under the Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract, the Navy is authorized to initially roll out 60,000 seats. The first sites must pass certain tests before the initiative can proceed to other sites. Pentagon and Navy officials have established three milestones for the contract:

Milestone 1 — Adding 100,000 seats, bringing the total to 160,000 seats. Decision expected May 3.

Milestone 2 — Adding 150,000 seats, bringing the total to 310,000 seats. Deadline has not been determined.

Milestone 3 — Adding 101,000 seats, completing NMCI’s rollout across shore-based facilities by December 2003.

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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