mock-up of the shore-based Aegis Combat Information Center

Defense IT

At Navy PEO EIS, the change keeps coming

The Navy's program executive office for enterprise has gone through a lot of changes in the last year, and more are coming, according to Principal Deputy PEO Capt. Donald Harder.

The office has added four program offices in the last year: enterprise systems and services, sensitive compartmented information and controlled access program networks ashore, commercial cloud services and special access programs, Harder said during a panel presentation at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association of Northern Virginia's Naval IT Day Oct. 1.

The biggest upcoming enterprise contract awards will be the recompetes for the Navy's Next Generation Enterprise Networks Re-compete and support services.

Harder said a final request for proposals for NGEN's service management integration and transport is expected to be finalized in the next two weeks. The RFP for end-user hardware hit the street in September.

The PEO wants to recompete its administrative support services contracts in the next year and will be hosting industry days in second quarter of fiscal 2019 for enterprise operational and administrative support for the PEO and associated offices and in the fourth quarter for professional support services.

New program office for sensitive compartmented information and controlled access program networks is expected to put out a contract to improve network capabilities in fiscal 2019's second quarter.

Additionally, the Marine Corps' Global Combat Support System should have at least one request for proposal later this year but multiple in fiscal 2019, Harder said.

Chatter around acquisition reform has increased in the Defense Department, and the Navy is preparing for changes that could hit PEO EIS.

Deputy PEO for Acquisition Andrew Atkinson said during the panel talk that while nothing is finalized, discussions around acquisition reform are intensifying.

"In the past we have always heard from senior leadership that they want to change acquisition specifically regarding defense business systems," which includes information systems -- contracting, financial, logistics, human resources -- operated by DOD, Atkinson said. "There's a lot of change with not just DBS programs but IT programs as well."

Atkinson said there's pressure from Navy and DOD leadership to use rapid contracting methods such as other transaction authorities to push through capabilities -- even those that are minimally viable -- to the field.

"We're getting a lot of pressure to deliver capabilities faster," namely agile software development, he said, "So USA&S, the new AT&L, is going to establish a community [of] practice for lessons learned in agile software development."

Another potential change could mean common platforms and systems get consolidated and expanded across DOD and the services to reduce portfolio redundancies.

"There is movement within [the office of the Secretary of Defense] to move from service specific programs, merging them together to be more efficient in areas like IT commodity purchasing, logistics and financial," Atkinson said, adding that joint program offices could be in the offing.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.

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