Circuit

Food stamps become collectible

Food stamps are about to become as rare as Confederate notes.

The conversion to an all-electronic system began in 1984, and last month, the Agriculture Department issued its last batch of paper food stamps. This month, each of the 145,000 stores that participate in the USDA food stamp program will have completed their conversion to the electronic funds transfer and debit card system.

Because no more food stamps will be issued, watch for the program to get a new name sometime in the next year.

IAC votes

Officials at more than 250 companies voted recently in the Industry Advisory Council's executive committee elections.

They chose to re-elect Bob Woods of Topside Consulting Group LLC as its chairman.

Other winners are:

  • Ellen Glover of Impact Innovations Group LLC was named executive vice chairwoman.
  • Paul Cohen of Pragmatics Inc. was named vice chairman for management and finance.
  • Laura Floyd of EDS was voted vice chairwoman for communications.
  • Joe Draham of GTSI Corp. was elected vice chairman for programs.
  • Leslie Barry of Computer Associates International Inc. was selected as vice chairwoman for professional development.
  • Bruce McConnell of McConnell International LLC was selected as vice chairman for outreach.
  • Bill Piatt of Unisys Corp. was elected as vice chairman for shared interest groups.
  • Vice chairs at large: Dan Chenok of SRA International Inc., Deirdre Murray of Sprint and Karen Smith of SmithPryor Solutions.

Postal oasis

No window service after 5 p.m.? U.S. Postal Service officials have a plan to fix that frustration. As many as 2,500 automated postal centers, or APCs, will soon appear in shopping malls and nonpostal retail centers.

IBM Corp. makes the APCs, which are self-service machines that people can use to buy stamps, mail packages, and send Priority and Express mail.

"You will see them all over the country," said David Fineman, chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, speaking at a recent American Council for Technology conference in Philadelphia. "We are finally moving into the 21st century."

Make it snappy

If you advertise a job opening in the federal government, applicants will come. Or will they?

Office of Personnel Management officials said job vacancy notices have been too dull, so OPM Director Kay Coles James has ordered improvements.

"The improved format for online vacancy announcements that agencies are adopting offers improved readability and gives federal job seekers clear information specific to the job," she said.

"Agencies should clearly state job qualifications in the vacancy announcements and note how contributions of the eventual office holder will make a difference in the agency and to America," James said.

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