Panel votes for NMCI extension

Fiscal 2003 Defense authorization bill

Just as Pentagon officials were giving the green light to proceed with the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, the House Armed Services Committee approved a bill that would allow the Navy to extend the NMCI contract by two years.

The Navy has been pushing for permission to extend the contract beyond its existing five-year base period so that the Navy would have time to use NMCI before officials are forced to consider entering into the contract's three one-year option periods.

By law, government contracts cannot last longer than five years. Therefore, the Navy sought permission from Congress to extend the contract. A provision of the fiscal 2003 Defense authorization bill, H.R. 4546 — which was approved on a 57 to 1 vote by the House Armed Services Committee May 1 — would allow the Navy to extend the contract for two years.

EDS officials have said that they support the idea. EDS is the lead vendor on the Navy's effort to outsource its shore-based information technology infrastructure. It is unclear, however, how the contract extension would affect NMCI's $6.9 billion cost.

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 have said that the idea behind the extension is for the Navy to start the five-year contract period to coincide approximately with the Pentagon's Milestone One approval.

That approval came May 3. Otherwise, the Navy would have to make a decision about the three one-year options about two years after it gets all of NMCI's seats rolled out. NMCI director Rear Adm. Charles Munns has said the target date for that is December 2003.

The contract extension would enable the Navy to use the NMCI network for more than two years before having to address that issue.

The Defense authorization bill next goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

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, 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,, 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, 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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