Navy CIO: Most jobs safe

The long-awaited multibillion- dollar Navy intranet contract will not cause the loss of thousands of government jobs as previously reported, according to the Navy's detailed business case analysis delivered to Congress June 30.

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The long-awaited multibillion- dollar Navy intranet contract will not cause

the loss of thousands of government jobs as previously reported, according

to the Navy's detailed business case analysis delivered to Congress June

30.

Ron Turner, the Navy's deputy chief information officer for infrastructure,

systems and technology, said recent estimates that up to 12,000 government

jobs could be lost as a result of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (N/MCI)

contract are grossly inaccurate. The business case analysis "contains a

number that is much less than 12,000 and is phased in over four years,"

said Turner, speaking at the International Naval Review 2000 exposition

in New York.

Turner speculated that the number of federal workers who might lose

their jobs as a result of N/MCI is likely "in the low hundreds."

As long as Congress and the Office of Management and Budget find the

Navy's business case acceptable, the service will award the N/MCI contract

on Sept. 1 and begin work by Oct. 1, Turner said.

The Navy planned to award N/MCI last month. However, Congress demanded

a business case analysis as part of the fiscal 2001 defense authorization

bill, which required the Navy to detail how it would pay for the program

and how many government jobs would be displaced by the contract.

N/MCI would replace a hodgepodge of two dozen Navy and Marine Corps

networks with a seamless network owned and operated by a single contractor.

The Navy argues that it needs the intranet to prepare for network-centric

warfare and to beef up information security on its computers [FCW, May 8,

2000].

But the Navy's plans to outsource the intranet to a single vendor may

run into trouble from Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.), who last week introduced

a measure to impose a temporary moratorium on the privatization and outsourcing

of Defense Department jobs.

Most of the government workers who will be affected by N/MCI include

help-desk operators and other network operations support personnel, whose

jobs will be consumed by the winning N/MCI contractor. However, the total

number is likely to be very low across the Navy, Turner said.

At the Naval Air Systems Command, for example, recent estimates placed

at least 250 jobs at risk. However, "none of their jobs are affected," said

Turner. "They're all going into other jobs...elsewhere in Navair," he said.

"I expect that we'll see that in most of the [Navy] communities."

Turner also announced that the Navy plans to deploy 361,000 public-key

infrastructure-enabled smart cards as the Navy's "common access card" solution

when it finally rolls out N/MCI. The Navy's Smart Card Office will provide

the card readers, and N/MCI will field the cards to each user, he said.

"It is basically your cyber identification that will identify you anywhere

on the network, anywhere in the world."

NEXT STORY: Navy's submarine force in crisis

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