The Circuit

USPS Makes a Sales Pitch, VA Contracting Thaws and more

USPS Makes a Sales Pitch

The U.S. Postal Service was the only federal agency exhibiting at last month's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, and its mission there was clear: Sell, sell, sell.

USPS did not announce any new e-commerce or Web-based initiatives, but instead staffed its booth with sales people attempting to drum up leads for its variety of service offerings, from bulk shipping plans to electronic package tracking and e-postmarks, said Julie Rowland, event programs coordinator for USPS.

"We're here to attract business and let people know what we're offering," she said. "It's all sales staff [here] generating leads for packaged services, e-commerce solutions...and bringing the leads back" to the agency's nationwide sales team.

It's been well-documented that attendance was down at this year's show, but here's hoping USPS, which is also hurting for business, will be able to close some deals it started in Vegas.

VA Contracting Thaws

There's good news for vendors selling to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Anthony Principi recently lifted a temporary freeze he put on new information technology projects when he took office. The freeze was effective while the department developed its enterprise architecture plan. Even so, VA chief information officer John Gauss must still approve each new IT project and the money to pay for it.

Reviewing It All

In the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedies, the VA is assessing whether it should find new ways to communicate. Like so many other agencies, the VA found that PC-based instant messaging technology and handheld computers were more reliable than landline and wireless phones. Secretary Principi said in a recent interview with Federal Computer Week that the VA will be looking at whether wireless and satellite communications should be added to the mix.

"I would look at it as an addition and not as an alternative, but clearly it is an important addition to our ability to communicate during times of an emergency, when the hardened lines are down," he said.

The Waiting Game

When the time it takes to cross U.S. borders increased dramatically after Sept. 11, the Customs Service decided to let travelers know just how long it would take them to clear Customs. For the first time, the service posted entry times from the Canadian and Mexican borders on its Web site to give folks an idea of how long they might be waiting in line, according to Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner.

Wait times at the Detroit, Port Huron, Mich., and Buffalo, N.Y., ports swelled to 10 to 12 hours as Customs went to a Level 1 alert after the attacks. But the waiting times are back to normal — in some cases less than an hour — after Customs added inspectors and opened more lanes and the National Guard was dispatched to help clear the traffic jams. Waiting times continue to be posted on the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov.

Top of the List

The Transportation Department has put IT at the top of its to-do list for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a new agency that will handle almost all of the department's security functions.

"The third hire made on the TSA was our CIO," said John Flaherty, chief of staff at DOT, at a conference last week sponsored by the Council for Excellence in Government. Considering all of the information needed to support the TSA, the systems to collect, analyze and disseminate that information are crucial to the success of the agency, Flaherty said.

The department also is using technology to help staff the rest of the agency, which is expected to grow to almost 45,000 employees, Flaherty said. After receiving numerous inquiries about how to join the agency, DOT put together a Web site that will record job seekers' information so the department can get back in touch when people are needed, he said.

Not to Worry

Fernando Burbano, the State Department's CIO, is not at all disturbed about the demise of the federal CIO Council's Security, Privacy and Critical Infrastructure Committee, which he chaired. "That wasn't my full-time job," Burbano said recently. He called the decision by the council and Mark Forman, the Office of Management and Budget associate director of IT and e-government, to fold the panel into other committees a different management style — distributive vs. centralized. "We're here to see how it works. Give the guy a chance to see if it works."

Not Hip to HIPAA

A majority of state and local government agency officials are unsure whether their jurisdiction would meet sweeping new federal guidelines designed to enhance health care-related information systems within the next 18 months, according to a recent Gartner Inc. survey.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), signed by President Clinton in 1996, was enacted to provide a comprehensive federal law that would protect people's health information and improve the efficiency of health care delivery by standardizing electronic data interchange.

According to Gartner, only 6 percent of chief information officers surveyed expected to meet the law's transaction standards by the October 2002 deadline, and 63 percent don't know whether they will be able to comply. Seventeen percent said they were very likely to comply, 9 percent said somewhat likely, 3 percent said highly unlikely, and 2 percent said not at all.

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

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.