Letter to the editor

You have to love those public relations whizzes at the Information Strike Force and EDS for totally changing the definition of what a word means. They talk about "tightening" up service level agreements and making sure they make sense ["NMCI service levels being refined"]. In fact, what they have done in all cases is "loosened" the requirements upon EDS in critical service-level agreements (SLAs), such as the speed in which problems must be resolved for hardware and software systems or the responsiveness of the help desk.

The changes range from 40 percent more unanswered phone calls to 100 percent more time to fix hardware/software problems.

These changes are not because the users decided they don't need this level of service. This is because EDS has demonstrated that it can't meet this critical SLA bid in the contract.

This is NOT the contract that was competed a long time ago. What would the other bidders have bid for these drastically changed levels of service? I'm afraid we'll never know. The Navy information technology department is so desperately trying to save this fatally flawed attempt at seat management that they'll do anything that EDS asks.

I'm convinced that seat management and outsourcing is a good thing for the Navy, but not with this set of government and contractor managers. Not one of them has demonstrated a capability to talk to the users or tried to painlessly transition their applications to the new computing environment.

All we hear about is "ruthlessly rolling out seats" and "disabling legacy systems and quarantined applications."

Meanwhile, I've lost contact with most of my employees on travel or at home because my command can't afford the $4,000 per year price for a Dell Computer Corp. C600 1 GHz laptop. By the way, from what I can tell, this machine isn't even offered by Dell anymore, along with most of the archaic systems in the contract. We joke in my office that this is a quality-of-life issue. The command doesn't want us checking e-mail at home or on travel.

Hey, maybe I should relax a little bit and try to fit in with the common definition of a civil servant. I'll spend hours of time trying to accomplish a simple task within the Navy Marine Corps Intranet's bureaucratic/secure architecture that would take minutes in the real world.

If the same destruction were caused to the current IT infrastructure by a hacker or virus, the government would prosecute and sentence the offenders to years in jail. It seems that with NMCI, the more harm/pain that is caused to the end user, the more reward for the government/contractor team.

Name withheld by request


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