Week in Review

A salute to Ira Hobbs

The federal information technology community is losing one of its stalwart members next month. Ira Hobbs, known for his boundless energy, is retiring from government at the end of the year. It is difficult to imagine the community without his presence.

For the past two years, Hobbs has been the chief information officer at the Treasury Department, and before that, he was the deputy CIO at the Agriculture Department, where he started his career in public service as an intern in 1978.

But Hobbs’ role has always extended beyond the confines of a particular agency. However demanding his day job has been, Hobbs has always been a major player in the federal IT community.

Perhaps he is best known for his contributions to workforce management. As co-chairman of the CIO Council’s IT Workforce Committee, he has helped shape the government’s strategy for recruiting and retaining IT workers and developing the next generation of IT leaders.

His work on those issues has earned him many honors, including five Federal 100 awards from Federal Computer Week.

His contributions do not stop there. He has been an active participant in government and industry groups, such as the Industry Advisory Council and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.

Hobbs will tell you that the work will go on — that others will pick up where he leaves off. But we think most people would agree that this is a loss that will be sorely felt. We join others in the federal community in saluting Hobbs for his exemplary career, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Other noteworthy news
Training company officials urged contractors interested in winning Defense Department contracts to ensure that their employees who have information assurance roles meet new training standards set by DOD Directive 8570.1.… The federal government is seeking ways to improve the value of the data in the governmentwide database known as the Past Performance Information Retrieval System.… DOD must fix the Defense Travel System or risk losing its funding, lawmakers told DOD officials.… The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general said the SBInet program, part of the Secure Border Initiative, is at considerable risk of failing, despite increased oversight of the program.… The Government Accountability Office recommended that Congress require paid tax preparers to file tax returns electronically because it would lower the Internal Revenue Service’s costs for tax processing.… The General Services Administration will release a request for proposals for a Veterans Technology Services governmentwide acquisition contract by early December.… The Small Business Administration and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy announced new regulations that require small businesses to recertify their size status.… The Interior Department activated crucial components of a new SAP system that will consolidate all of Interior’s financial and business management applications by 2010.… Intel introduced the company’s first quad-core processors, which it said would significantly enhance server and workstation performance.… DHS’ IT security, program management and procurement practices will be targets of the department’s IG during fiscal 2007.… Federal decision-makers are more confident about their agencies’ security now than they were two years ago, according to a survey report from Cisco Systems.… The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a guide to information security written for top-level managers.

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