House members voice concerns about Navy intranet project

Inadequate testing methods and a failure to identify tens of thousands of existing legacy applications have hampered the Navy's efforts to transition all of its information systems to the Navy-Marine Corps intranet (NMCI), the House Appropriations Committee has said last week.

In a report that accompanied the House-passed fiscal 2003 Defense appropriations bill, H.R. 5010, committee members said they are "concerned that this problem has limited the current state of the [NMCI] network's capabilities to such a degree that the system has significantly impacted operations."

The spending bill would limit the rollout of the program to the 160,000 NMCI "seats," or workstations, that already have been authorized by the Pentagon. The bill would prohibit the Navy from ordering more seats until many of the current NMCI problems are resolved.

Navy officials did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The Navy eventually plans to deploy 411,000 NMCI workstations, creating seamless interoperability among more than 300 Navy and Marine Corps bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Iceland and Japan.

A key goal of the $7 billion NMCI project is to make the Navy and Marine Corps' critical infrastructures less vulnerable to cyberattack, while providing the civilian and military workforce with real-time, universal access to voice, video and data services.

Navy and Marine Corps officials have touted NMCI as a critical component of their "transformation" efforts to move the U.S. military into the information age.

But House appropriators said that despite making "significant progress ... in establishing the beginnings of the [NMCI] network," Navy officials--and their NMCI contractor, EDS--have encountered "unforeseen challenges" in their initial rollout of the network.

Committee members said in their report that they had heard "repeatedly" from Navy and EDS officials that efforts to deploy the NMCI network have been "severely inhibited" by a "failure to identify the existence of tens of thousands of legacy applications, and how or whether they could operate on the network."

The committee noted that in one office where NMCI is in the testing phase, dependence on legacy applications is so pervasive that more than half the workstations require two computer terminals--one for legacy systems and one for NMCI.

"While this problem exists, the Navy has proceeded with additional seat orders for additional locations, creating the potential for this crisis to grow exponentially," the committee said in its report.

In addition to barring the Navy from ordering more NMCI seats, the bill would require operational tests after a full NMCI transition for at least 20,000 workstations.

House appropriators said in their report that "the delay in seat orders that will result will ... provide the Navy and the contractor much-needed time to address the legacy-application problems which will arise from the order of the first 160,000 seats."

Committee members added that in order for NMCI to succeed, "progress must be at a more moderately measured pace, and with far greater emphasis on understanding the networks' capabilities and limitations."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.