Letter to the editor

When are people going to realize that any information technology outsourcing project of the magnitude of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet has inherent problems no matter how much planning takes place?

The IT environment of the U.S. Navy cannot be compared to the commercial IT environment whatsoever. In the commercial environment you will normally have a centrally managed IT infrastructure that is controlled mainly by a single point of monetary resources. In the Navy you have hundreds of decentralized IT infrastructures that have never had a single point of monetary resources until NMCI. Given that, if you think combining hundreds of decentralized IT infrastructures is an undertaking that should be as smooth as marble, you've lost your marbles.

Granted there are things that could have been done differently in the beginning of NMCI, but as usual that is the advantage of hindsight. Application versioning and functionality control is one of them. Enforcement of reporting deadlines is another. Enforcement of corrective actions is another. Finally, the removal of the political games would be a good one.

This is not directed at the Navy or the contractor (EDS), as both have a hand in the same problem cookie jar. Identify the problems accurately, determine the best course of action as recommended by highly skilled technicians (not politically motivated managers) and implement the solution.

For those that choose to continue to bash the NMCI project, you obviously have no clue of the effectiveness of clear and secure lines of communications to access vital information in support of the Navy's mission. And that has been a problem for the Navy and other DOD agencies for the IT environment.

It's your money (taxes). How would you rather have it spent - $4 billion for the way it was or $1.5 billion for the way it is going?

Name withheld by request

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