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CHIPS Articles: Navy Information Technology Procurement Approval and Oversight

Navy Information Technology Procurement Approval and Oversight
By Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) - January-March 2012
At the direction of the Chief of Naval Operations, and in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN RD&A), the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance released a naval message in November, NAVADMIN 346/11, "Information Technology Procurement Approval and Oversight," to inject increased rigor into the Navy's objective to reduce IT costs and enhance operational efficiencies.

To achieve clarity, visibility and discipline in IT spending and procurement across the Navy, the existing approval process requires modification. The current process will be consolidated in a single Navy command under the centralized management of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

The process modification will ensure effective and efficient expenditure of funding to acquire information technology capabilities (materiel classified as hardware, software or services); prevent duplicative investments; provide visibility on all Navy IT-related expenditures; and ultimately achieve strategic sourcing on IT procurement.

As defined in the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, IT encompasses any equipment, interconnected system, subsystem, service (including support service) or related resource used to access, retrieve, transport, process, analyze, and/or display non-tactical, business-related, or business process-related data or information. This includes all afloat and ashore IT, including hull, mechanical, and electrical systems (HM&E). This definition excludes weapon systems, but includes IT which supports weapon system program management and oversight.

Other items excluded from this definition are IT resources that are physically part of, and essential in real time to the mission performance of a weapons or command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR) system. IT assets are shown in Figure 1.


The revised policy applies to the IT procurement activities of all Navy commands and organizations, ashore and afloat, unless otherwise excepted by the provisions of the NAVADMIN: all IT procurement requests for non-weapon or non-C4ISR system related IT materiel and IT support services, regardless of whether the funding is reported in the IT budget, resourced with Navy appropriated and/or non-appropriated funds, must be processed, reviewed and approved using an information technology procurement request (ITPR) smart form. ITPRs less than $500,000 will be approved by the Echelon II command information officer (CIO). ITPRs for more than $500,000 will be forwarded by the requesting Echelon II to SPAWAR for approval.

All requests for IT, regardless of dollar amount, will be entered into an ITPR smart form and documented prior to purchase. Procurement actions for IT may not be initiated prior to ITPR approval in accordance with the NAVADMIN. ITPR smart forms with instructions will be made available by the DON Deputy Chief Information Officer – Navy (DDCIO-N) to all Echelon II CIOs for distribution to their respective Echelon III and IV users.

The ITPR smart form will be completed by requesting commands and then forwarded via email to their respective Echelon II CIO for processing.

All requests below $500,000 may be approved by the Echelon II CIO and documented. Echelon II CIOs must forward approved requests to SPAWAR for tracking within five (5) working days of granting approval. All requests greater than $500,000 will flow to SPAWAR for approval.

Requests for software must be submitted to the Echelon II CIO for approval by the appropriate functional area lead prior to procurement approval.

Requests for IT support services must include (attached to the ITPR smart form) a copy of the contract statement of work and any other supporting documentation for the services to be provided. The documentation must clearly define all IT-related tasks to include, but not limited to, procurement, development, installation, maintenance or modification of software, hardware or systems.

Requests for handheld wireless (commercially supported) communication devices (i.e., cell phones and BlackBerrys) and their services must be purchased via a Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center San Diego (NAVSUP FLC San Diego, formerly known as Fleet Industrial Supply Center San Diego) contract.

All ITPRs for handheld wireless devices through FLC San Diego must include a contract number. (For information, go to: The FLC San Diego contract is not required for OCONUS units.


Requests for non-tactical radios shall include the specific make and model information, spectrum assignment and waveform type, and will be reviewed and approved by the enterprise services functional area manager (FAM).

The DDCIO-N: (1) will ensure all software requests have been reviewed by the appropriate FAM leads and registered with a favorable disposition in the DON Application and Database Management System (DADMS); (2) coordinate with SPAWAR for periodic reviews of the IT approval process and IT procurement data analysis; and (3) codify the contents of the NAVADMIN in a formal OPNAV instruction by the end of fiscal year 2012.

SPAWAR will: (1) oversee and approve requests for hardware, software and services required to support Navy information systems and network infrastructure; (2) ensure requests for computers, servers and peripherals comply with DON criteria; (3) with the concurrence of the Naval Strategic Sourcing Working Committee (SSWC), identify existing contract vehicles and, as appropriate, establish and manage purchasing vehicles for IT on behalf of acquisition programs, operating forces and the supporting establishment; publish and update information regarding available contract vehicles for IT and enterprise licensing agreements for software; and (4) collect data on all IT procurement approvals and provide periodic reports to the DDCIO-N.

Navy budget submitting offices (BSO) will incorporate and reference the policy contained in NAVADMIN 346/11 in local regulations and standard operating procedures.

Comptrollers will support the ITPR process to ensure proper allocation and resourcing of approved IT.

Command information officers: (1) will ensure IT procurement requests are submitted via ITPR smart form; (2) review and approve or disapprove ITPRs under $500,000 that are not required to be submitted to higher authority under the requirements of NAVADMIN 346/11; (3) submit IT procurement requests exceeding $500,000 to SPAWAR for approval; and (4) maintain an ITPR history file and submit to higher authority when directed.

Functional area managers will review the potential impact of the requested IT procurement on additions to the respective functional area portfolio and recommend approval or disapproval to the Echelon II CIO.

The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery IT procurement requests are not required to use ITPR. However, Navy medicine support afloat will require ITPRs.

To view NAVADMIN R 152325Z NOV 11, “Information Technology Procurement Approval and Oversight,” go to:

To view Commander SPAWAR issued naval message R 012023Z DEC 11 ZYB, “Information Technology Acquisition Approval Process (ITAAP),” go to:

Figure 1. IT Assets

IT assets include, but are not limited to:
• Computer workstations/desktops
• Servers, computer processing units, mainframes
• Peripherals (i.e., displays, mouse, keyboard, speakers, Web cams, smart card reader, multimedia switch, media converters, fax, etc.)
• Storage devices
• Laptops, Personal digital assistants, handheld Internet access devices, tablets, etc.
• Cell or smart phones and air cards, Wi-Fi access points
• Routers, switches, firewalls, inline network encryption, intrusion detection systems, information assurance/computer network defense devices
• Cabinets, chassis and equipment racks, power supplies and surge suppressors, power over Ethernet devices
• Printers, copiers, scanners, bar code readers
• Video teleconference (VTC) equipment (to include televisions and flat screens)
• Software applications (commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or government off-the-shelf GOTS), including common applications (i.e., Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Symantec, etc.), databases (i.e., Oracle, DB2, SQL, etc.) and operating systems (i.e., Windows, Linux, OS X, VMware, etc.)
• Portals and websites, collaboration, knowledge and records management tools
• Telephones, telephone switches including voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) and internet protocol telephony and call managers
• Circuits, IT services, training and education associated with IT assets

The following are examples of IT not included in the provisions of the new policy:
• Weapons systems (platform IT);
• IT expendables (paper, ink, toner, compact disc and digital video disc, media, etc.);
• IT support services required for development, installation, maintenance, modification, or procurement and/or lease of IT materiel or systems. Services will include training, education, consulting and on-site technical support.

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