Senate approves legislation extending Navy intranet contract

The Senate last Thursday passed a bill extending the Navy's five-year, multibillion intranet contract up to seven years.

The Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) is the Navy's effort to outsource technology, maintenance and help desk support for more than 400,000 desktops and 200 networks. Electronic Data Systems Corp. was awarded the five-year contract in October 2000. H.R. 5647, introduced by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., caps the contract at seven years.

The bill now heads to President Bush for his signature.

The Navy hopes NMCI will increase and streamline information-sharing among the roughly 300 Navy and Marine Corps bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Iceland and Japan. The internal network also aims to protect sensitive information from cyberattacks.

But in July, members of the House Appropriations Committee said EDS officials had reported "unforeseen" challenges to NMCI implementation. Lawmakers argued that inadequate testing methods and a failure to identify tens of thousands of existing legacy applications slowed progress on the $7 billion project.

The Senate last week also passed legislation granting certain inspectors general police powers and approved two separate bills aimed at improving financial management in agencies.

S. 2530 provides police powers-including the authority to carry firearms, make arrests, and issue warrants-for inspectors general and criminal investigators in 23 IG offices. The bill makes permanent powers that had been granted on a temporary basis.

H.R. 4878 requires agencies to identify and reduce overpayments to contractors, while H.R. 4685 increases the number of agencies required to submit annual audited financial statements to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget.

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