DOD Appropriations bill slashes NMCI funding

Conference Report on 2007 DOD Appropriations Bill

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The final version of the fiscal 2007 Defense Appropriations bill slashed $40 million from the operations and maintenance budget of the Navy’s major enterprise information system, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, which faces similar cuts in the 2007 DOD Authorization bill.

The conference report on the appropriations bill, approved Sept. 25, states that it cut NMCI funding because of unjustified growth in the program. NMCI is intended to provide desktop and laptop computers and network services to 500,000 Navy and Marine Corps military and civilian users in the United States through a managed service contract held by EDS.

In May, the House Armed Services Committee budgeted $245 million for NMCI in its version of the authorization bill, down $70 million from the Bush administration’s request. In a report, the committee said it remains concerned about the cost of the contract and “the enduring nature of legacy programs that a now mature NMCI was supposed to replace.”

The Senate and House Armed Services committees will hold a conference to resolve differences between their bills this week, and Congress is expected to act on the authorization and appropriations bills before it adjourns for the fall this week.

The Marine Corps’ procurement budget for common computer resources was increased $11.1 million from the $67.1 million requested in the final version of the appropriations bill. Of that, $7.1 million is allocated for enhancements to information security systems and $4 million for continuity of operations planning (COOP) for the Marine Enterprise Information Technology Service.

The DOD spending bill added $2.6 million to the Naval Reserve enterprise IT budget for COOP, boosting the budget to $6.6 million.

The Marines received a $16.2 million increase in research and development funding for development of communications systems, boosting the budget for this line item to $234.7 million from the $218.5 million the administration requested in the final version of the appropriations bill. But the conferees slashed procurement funding for Marine radios to $21.9 million from the $53.2 million requested.

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