Circuit

Overloading BlackBerries

New technology is making a difference in Congress but not always the difference that people want.

Many lawmakers and their staffs now have Research in Motion Ltd. wireless BlackBerry e-mail devices, which they carry everywhere. This makes some people much more productive, but it's also become a problem at times, said Bob Dix, chief of staff for Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee.

One of the biggest disruptions occurs when an e-mail is sent out to a group and people get caught in the wave of one-line responses that go back and forth like a Ping-Pong ball, he said.

What's in September?

September's flower is the morning glory and its birthstone is sapphire. But if the Council for Excellence in Government has its way, the month would also be designated "Homeland Security Preparedness Month."

Council officials, who recently released a report on the public's homeland security vision, asked Tom Ridge, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, to bestow that designation on the month. September also would herald a number of events to underscore homeland security's significance, such as public meetings with elected leaders and emergency officials and on-site workplace training and information. School officials and students also would coordinate activities.

Dave McClure, vice president of e-government at the council, also wants members of Congress to include an emergency preparedness at-a-glance card in that month's constituent newsletter.

Bates wins

Sandra Bates, commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, received the John J. Franke Award for her contribution to federal service.

The American Council for Technology presented the award at the Management of Change Conference in Philadelphia.

Seniors win, too

Officials at AFCEA International's Washington, D.C., chapter — an active sponsor of higher education in science, mathematics, computer IT and engineering — have announced their 2004 college scholarship recipients.

The AFCEA chapter raises funding for the scholarship program through year-round program activities and corporate donations. This year, the association awarded 15 scholarships worth $87,000, bringing the chapter's donations to $1.3 million distributed among 200 winners in the Washington, D.C., area since the program's inception in 1989.

Got a tip? Send it to circuit@fcw.com.

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above