EDS Lays Off, Reassigns Some NMCI Workers

Electronic Data Systems Corp. has laid off or reassigned 10 percent of the staff working on the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet program in response to delays in system testing and consolidation of legacy systems. The layoff may be modified if the Navy's needs change because of the terrorist attacks.

"We're still taking a hard look at those numbers, because the decision was made before the attacks," said EDS spokesman Chris Grey.

Whether or not the decision is changed in some way, Grey said, the layoffs are temporary. Grey said that as seats are added in accordance with the new schedule, the jobs will be restored.

There are not yet any indications that the military's move to a war footing will speed up the implementation schedule, Gray said, but that possibility exists because "there sure is, now more than ever, the need for secure networks and speed of information for the Department of the Navy."

NMCI Information Strike Force, the EDS-led contracting team, cut approximately 310 jobs, Grey said. The project had been staffed to meet the original testing schedule, which ran into delays when Pentagon and Navy officials could not reach agreement over how much testing would be done.

The Navy announced just last week that the first five seats under NMCI were up and running. Grey said that some time in the next three weeks another 600 seats at the Naval Air Facility Washington in Camp Springs, Md., will be added.

EDS of Plano, Texas, won the $6.9 billion, eight-year outsourcing contract in October 2000. The program will provide some 400,000 sailors and Marines with worldwide intranet services.

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