Circuit

Management of Change conference winners; IAC names new board; Internal memo reveals new NASA Ames boss has a restricted-access blog; DOD covers up space program boo-boos; DisabilityInfo.gov gets respect

Management of Change conference winners
At the American Council for Technology’s 26th annual Management of Change conference, Dave Wennergren, chief information officer at the Department of the Navy, was awarded the John J. Franke award. The award is named for the former director of the Federal Quality Institute, who championed the cause of good government.

John Gilligan, former Air Force CIO and last year’s Franke award winner, said Wennergren always shares his victories with his staff and believes in the goodness of people. Furthermore, when issues arise, he remains calm, cool and collected, saying to his colleagues, “I’m not worried about this project because I know you are.”

The best-dressed award went to Marty Wagner, acting commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service, who wore a stunning madras blazer while delivering the dinner speech at the conference in Hilton Head, S.C.

Wagner used PowerPoint slides during his presentation, which he said was a “pernicious moral act at a dinner speech,” especially at a Sunday night dinner. But he had several laugh lines, one of which was: “Notice I did not read a single word on that slide.”

When Wagner concluded, he said he would answer one question but would stay around later if anybody wanted to talk further. The one question came from someone in the back of the room, who asked, “Where did you get that jacket?”

“Finally, a question I can answer,” Wagner said, noting that the coat passed his double-daughter-and-wife test.

IAC names new board
The Industry Advisory Council elected six Executive Committee members for the 2006-2008 term. More than 65 percent of IAC’s members voted — surprisingly enough — via the Web. Venkatapathi Puvvada of Unisys will assume the role of vice chairman and become chairman when Bill Piatt of CGI steps down in 2007.

The other new members are:

  • Vice chairman for management and finance — Paul Cohen, Pragmatics.
  • Vice chairwoman for programs — Tricia Iveson, SI International.
  • Vice chairman for shared interest groups — Daniel Matthews, Lockheed Martin Information Technology.
  • Vice chairwoman at large — Mary Ellen Condon, SRA International.
  • Vice chairwoman at large — Leslie Steele, InterImage.
  • The newcomers will join the existing Executive Committee members:

  • Chairman (2006-2007) — Bill Piatt, CGI.
  • Vice chairwoman for professional development — Leslie Barry, CA.
  • Vice chairwoman for communications — Karen Smith, Harris.
  • Vice chairwoman at large — Deirdre Murray, Sprint Nextel.
  • Vice chairwoman at large — Sally Turner, CGI.
  • Internal memo reveals new NASA Ames boss has a restricted-access blog
    Pete Worden, the new director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, began sharing his thoughts via a restricted-access blog last month. Here’s how employees got the news.

    STATUS REPORT
    Source: Ames Research Center
    Date: Fri 26 May 2006
    From: Centerwide Announcement
    Subject: Message from the Director — Ames Creates a New Blog
    I am pleased to announce that the Office of the Center Director has created a blog. The purpose is to have a new and (we hope) effective tool for communication at the center. The deputy director, the associate director for institutions and research, and I will use the blog to periodically convey information and to share important developments affecting the center with you all. The “Ask the Director” link will also be available via this site.

    DOD covers up space program boo-boos
    Although Defense Department space projects continue to run billions of dollars over budget and decades behind schedule, DOD is expected to spend almost $7 billion in fiscal 2007 to buy more space-based toys.

    Meanwhile, lawmakers asked the Government Accountability Office to explain why DOD program managers can’t get satellites off the ground.

    In a June 1 letter to leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Cristina Chaplain, GAO’s acting director for acquisition and sourcing management, wrote this clarifying statement: “In delving deeper into the root causes behind these problems, we have found that competition for funding has incentivized programs to produce optimistic cost and schedule estimates, overpromise on capability, suppress bad news and forsake the opportunity to identify potentially better alternatives.”

    DisabilityInfo.gov gets respect
    The federal Web site that posts information for people with disabilities earned a Gold award from the American Association of Webmasters in May.

    The association recognized DisabilityInfo.gov’s ease of use and clear-cut layout, with categories plainly marked at the top of each page. Run by the Labor Department, DisabilityInfo.gov covers various topics, such as employment, transportation and housing. Resources include online pamphlets, case studies and published reports.

    The portal won a similar award last year from the Web Managers Advisory Council, a peer group of more than 900 federal, state and local Web managers.

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