Circuit

Following Arnold. Never off the record. E-mail at the office. Change is always in the air.

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Following Arnold

The ink was hardly dry on her $21 million severance package when political pundits started floating the idea that Carly Fiorina would be a great candidate to run as a Republican for the Senate seat currently held by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein is up for re-election in 2006.

Fiorina was ousted as chairwoman, chief executive officer and president after nearly six years at Hewlett-Packard. During that time, profits lagged and the company lost one-third of its market value. But she still has plenty of gravitas in the political world, and Republicans think that she could be an ideal choice.

An early supporter of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fiorina got plenty of Brownie points with the Bush administration when she sent an HP team to help the Homeland Security Department learn how to do a major merger. She certainly had experience: HP's acquisition of Compaq was one of the biggest mergers in the computer marketplace. DHS officials wanted her advice when they were trying to merge 22 disparate agencies into one.

Never off the record

It seems that Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management, thought he could speak off the record to more than 200 information technology vendors who gathered Feb. 4 to get a preview of President Bush's 2006 IT budget request. He should have known better.

Within an hour of the meeting, the IT grapevine was hot with his complaints about Science Applications International Corp.'s work on the FBI's Virtual Case File.

Although Johnson never mentioned the vendor by name, everyone in the room knew what he was talking about when he described the file as a troubled, mismanaged project that resulted in a $100 million loss and was recently canceled.

After the meeting, vendors were joking — off the record, of course — that SAIC representatives should have put their badges on backward or sunk down in their seats while a top administration official took them to task.

E-mail at the office

It's no surprise that workers use company e-mail for personal communications, but a new survey provides precise information about workplace habits in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.

About 40 percent of workers in those countries spend an hour or more every day e-mailing their friends and relatives or swapping jokes via the company e-mail system during working hours, according to the Email Use at Work survey. Clearswift, a content security software provider, conducted the survey of 4,500 people.

American workers spend the most time — the equivalent of 21 days per year — on personal e-mail activity. Although the survey did not break out instant messaging use, we predict at least that much time is spent sending such messages or blogging — the new online rage.

Change is always in the air

The American Council for Technology and the Industry Advisory Council's latest professional development effort, the Voyagers Program, is seeking candidates. Federal employees rated from GS-11 to GS-14 and their industry counterparts are eligible to participate in the mentoring program.

Voyagers, modeled after the highly successful Partners program, will begin in April and will feature monthly activities, such as networking lunches, through December.

Application information can be found on ACT/IAC's Web site at www.actgov.org/VoyagersProgram.

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

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