CIOs and politics

John Thomas Flynn, the first chief information officer of Massachusetts and California, won’t be heading to Capitol Hill. He lost a special election last week to fill a vacant House seat in California.

It seems his information technology skills don’t compare to name recognition. He lost the race to Democrat Doris Matsui, widow of Rep. Robert Matsui, who represented the Sacramento area for 26 years.

But Flynn, vice president of advisory services at the Center for Digital Government, received more votes than any other Republican on the ballot.

Coming soon: E-archives and Webcasts

During last week’s swearing-in ceremony for Allen Weinstein, the ninth archivist of the United States, he said he would pursue two goals, both technological, during the next five years: the Electronic Records Archives and nationwide Webcasting. He said the National Archives and Records Administration’s responsibility for spreading e-records management governmentwide is NARA’s innate strength and mission, or its “inside greatness.” Meanwhile, NARA will achieve “outside greatness” by providing Webcasting to schools and the public.

Blogger gains credibility

A recent controversy raised questions about access to the White House and whether Web loggers are legitimate reporters. Bush administration officials entered the 21st century last week by giving press credentials to a blogger who had requested a daily pass for a briefing.

Garrett Graff, 23, writes FishbowlDC, a blog about the news media in Washington, D.C.

“The briefing room ought to be an inclusive place,” White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

But Graff was surprised by the working conditions for journalists at the White House. He found the press room shabby and described his morning of breaking a barrier as remarkably uneventful.

Forget the wash

Be careful when handling your new passport. For example, if you throw it in the wash with your dirty clothes and damage the electronic chip inside, you’ll have to get another passport.

A proposed rule in the Federal Register outlines new passport regulations for dealing with damaged biometric tools. Government officials will introduce the electronic passports later this year.

The electronic chips will contain a biometric identifier and information about the passport holder. They are becoming such an important component of the document that damaged chips will not be acceptable, according to the notice.

So if you are a frequent overseas traveler, check every pocket of every piece of clothing before laundering.

A-list résumés

We know things are getting curiouser and curiouser when Microsoft founder Bill Gates is knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and ousted Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina is being considered as the next president of the World Bank. Never underestimate the value of a tech background.

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