Navy $1.2B contract mod would extend NMCI services for NGEN transition

Editor's Note: The story was updated at 12:30 p.m., EST, February 21, to clarify that the Navy intends to issue the sole source contract modification. The service is required to provide a notice of intent in advance of the actual modification, which will follow.

The Navy Feb. 20 said it intends to issue a sole-source contract modification that could potentially extend the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet Continuity of Services Contract by five months, and increase its cost by $1.2 billion to ensure that the service has sufficient time to complete the continuing transition to the Next Generation Enterprise Network contract.

The notice of intention, which is posted on the FedBizOpps website, outlines a process through which the service potentially could raise the ceiling of the continuity contract with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services from $4.9 billion to $6.1 billion, the Navy said. The contract modification would be exercised only of the transition to NGEN is further delayed, the service said. The estimated award date of the NGEN contract for transport and enterprise services currently is May 2013.

"The [Navy] is keeping all of its options open by considering the possibility of extending the contract," Ed Austin, spokesman for the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, said in a statement.

A decision has not yet been made whether to extend the continuity contract, he noted, adding that the intent to issue the sole-source contract modification does not obligate the Navy to act on it.

The contract modification "is a prudent step that allows the [Navy] to manage potential changes associated with the NGEN acquisition and transition," he said. "Any interruption in network services during the acquisition and transition to NGEN is not acceptable."

The services provided through the NMCI continuity contract are scheduled to expire on April 30, 2014. The contract modification would extend the closing date to Sept. 30, 2014, the Navy said.

The Navy again said, as it has in previous announcements about the ongoing NGEN transition, that the Continuing Resolution for the Defense Department and possibility of sequestration have not yet had an influence on the continuing contract. However, it remains unclear whether they might impact the NMCI continuity contract in the future, the service said. The sequestration, which applies mandatory cuts to the DOD budget, is scheduled to begin March 1.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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