Navy's legacy NMCI network to get another contract extension

Monday - 2/10/2014, 5:04pm EST

Navy officials believe they will have to once again delay the full implementation of their new Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) and rely on the legacy Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) for at least an additional few months.

In a notice the Navy Department's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command issued Friday, officials said they intend to extend the current NMCI continuity of services contract (CoSC) with HP Enterprise Services until Sept. 30.

The current agreement was supposed to expire on June 30 as the Navy and Marine Corps transitioned from the government's largest outsourced IT program to a government-owned structure under NGEN. The extension would also raise the value of the NMCI contract with HP by $138 million.

HP and its predecessor company, EDS, built, owned and operated the naval IT networks since 2000, and the Navy has been struggling for years to wrest back control over a technology infrastructure and business model they said they had insufficient visibility into. After several years of delays, the department made an award for NGEN last June, also to a team led by HP.

But work on the NGEN transition was delayed for several months because of protests by a rival bidders Harris Corp. and CSC. The Government Accountability Office dismissed the last of the protests last October.

"Due to a delay in contract award and subsequent protest, the CoSC period of performance is not aligned to the NGEN transition schedule," Navy contracting officials wrote Friday. "The aforementioned options will allow the Government to continue NMCI services for those sites which have not yet transitioned."

Navy officials did not immediately respond to inquiries about the current state of the NGEN transition and the expected timeframe for leaving NMCI behind entirely.

The Marine Corps, which is operating its portion of NGEN under a government-owned- government-operated construct, says it successfully made the transition away from NMCI last summer without incident. The Navy's approach is different: The government will own its networks, but they will continue to be operated by HP, even under NGEN, with high-level direction from Navy Fleet Cyber Command.

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