Defense Acquisitions:

Observations on the Procurement of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet

T-NSIAD/AIMD-00-116: Published: Mar 8, 2000. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 2000.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Navy and Marine Corps Intranet effort, focusing on whether the: (1) the Navy acquisition approach and implementation plan are based on appropriate analyses, resolution of key issues, and adequate risk management activities; and (2) Office of the Secretary of Defense is overseeing that effort with adequate review of relevant Navy analyses and other program activities to ensure that system interoperability and information assurance safeguards are implemented.

GAO noted that: (1) the Navy's acquisition approach and implementation plan for developing a Navy/Marine Corps Intranet have a number of weaknesses that make the effort unnecessarily risky; (2) the Navy has been working toward awarding a contract in June of this year--the result of an aggressive, service-established goal to accomplish an initial level of operational capability by December 2001; (3) however, the Navy has developed and issued its request for proposals without: (a) developing a formal analysis of program alternatives and completing a business case analysis to determine an appropriate acquisition strategy for the proposed Intranet; (b) resolving key programmatic issues such as how the Intranet arrangement is to be managed within the Navy, how the Intranet will be funded, and how its information technology and other personnel may be affected by the Intranet; and (c) taking certain risk mitigation steps such as testing the proposed approach on a smaller scale; and (4) with regards to the Office of the Secretary of Defense's oversight of the Navy Intranet effort, GAO found that this organization has not fully: (a) defined how it will oversee program requirements for the Intranet effort; and (b) established that the Intranet approach will be consistent with the Department of Defense's command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence systems architecture, particularly the Department's system interoperability and information assurance requirements.

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