Goodbye, Rummy. Hello, Henry
Last week was one of those weeks in which so much happened that you need to step back, take a deep breath and assess what occurred.
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) lost his chairmanship of the House Government Reform Committee in the midterm elections, most likely to be replaced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
Then, less than 24 hours after people cast their votes, the Rumsfeld era came to a close. President Bush's move to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was surprising because the president had said a week earlier that Rumsfeld would be in the Pentagon until the end of his presidency.
Last week's changes left many in the government information technology community scratching their heads and searching for meaning. The most obvious ramification is Davis’ imminent departure as chairman of the government reform panel. Who knows what priorities Waxman will set when he gets that position in January?
At the Defense Department, will transformation be a buzzword that we can still talk about 10 years from now, or has Rumsfeld’s departure changed the Pentagon forever?
We are all taking a step back to survey our new surroundings, and this week will certainly go down as a milestone.
Other noteworthy news
The federal government is heading toward fiscal insolvency because of huge long-term obligations and growing structural problems in the federal budget, Comptroller General David Walker warned.... Input predicted the Defense Department market for information technology goods and services will grow at a compound annual rate of 4.3 percent from fiscal 2006 through 2011.... Open-source software vendors said they want Congress to define legal standards that would protect open-source developers and users from patent lawsuits.... Watchdog groups logged scattered complaints on Election Day about voters who had trouble getting computerized touch-screen machines to properly record their intended votes.... Industry vendors said they could have a tough time making a profit under a new pay-per-use software initiative spearheaded by the Defense Information Systems Agency.... The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a final rule that requires creating a secure, Web-based National Source Tracking System to report transactions involving radioactive materials.... The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate awarded 103 new scholarships and fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students who are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.... The General Services Administration awarded SRA International a $90 million competitive task order to provide IT services for the Agriculture Department's food programs.... The Justice Department sent more than 500 federal observers and more than 350 other employees to 69 jurisdictions in 22 states to monitor the midterm elections because of concerns about electronic voting machines and other potential irregularities.... John McManus, NASA's deputy chief information officer and chief technology officer, was named deputy CIO and CTO at the Commerce Department.
A roundup of the week's news, complete with links to the original stories, can be found on FCW.com Download's Week in Review.
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