Week in Review

2006: Auld Lang Syne

As we begin to look ahead to the new year, we are struck by how busy 2006 has been. Some stories built on developments from past years, but a few of them deserve particular attention.
  • Security: Yes, there were Federal Information Security Management Act compliance issues and the rush to meet Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, but what really forced information technology executives to focus on security was the theft of a laptop PC from a house in suburban Washington, D.C. Unfortunately that laptop, property of the Department of Veterans Affairs, contained personal data on millions of veterans. The story made headlines nationwide and drove the security issue.
  • GSA: It has been a roller-coaster year for the General Services Administration. The arrival of a new administrator, Lurita Doan, thrust the agency into the middle of a debate on scores of issues.

    Jim Williams returned, the agency reorganized, and an internal battle with the inspector general¹s office broke out.
  • Congress: The midterm elections took place in November, but the effect will be felt for the next two years. We can¹t predict what will happen, but it will be interesting to watch.
Many of the stories that we highlight in this issue will develop further in the next year.

In reviewing 2006, we realized that a year ago, we could never have foreseen many of the issues we have covered.

And as we look back, we also look forward. We will spend our time planning, but new events will overtake many of those plans.

Fun times are ahead, we don¹t doubt.

Have a good holiday. We look forward to an exciting new year.

Breaking news
  • Mike Sade, director of the Commerce Department¹s Office of Acquisition Management and Financial Assistance, is leaving the agency to become associate commissioner for acquisition management at the General Services Administration.
  • Perot Systems Government Services is expected to announce a major acquisition Monday of a privately held company that holds several large military contracts.

Other noteworthy news

"We're encrypting everything in sight," said Bob Howard, the Department of Veterans Affairs' chief information officer, describing the VA's efforts to improve data security.... Congress passed a pandemic flu bill that puts the Department of Health and Human Services in charge of the federal medical response to bioterrorism attacks or disease outbreaks and removes the Homeland Security Department from any lead role.... Getting senior executives to pay attention to the problem of safeguarding personal information is 80 percent of the solution, said Lisa Schlosser, CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.... The Army will field its Land Warrior system in Iraq next summer, despite funding uncertainties.... The Northern Command has adopted the phrase collaboration and communication as a substitute for classic military command and control.... The General Services Administration and its biggest customer, the Defense Department, signed a memorandum of agreement created to improve business relations between the two agencies.... In one of its final acts, the 109th Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that supporters say will modernize the U.S. Postal Service and improve its financial viability.... The Joint Forces Command is deploying prototypes of a multilevel security environment in Iraq for collaboration with the State Department's Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and the U.S. Agency for International Development.... Virginia's attorney general said he will propose new legislation requiring convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant messaging screen names with the state's sex offender registry.... The majority of emergency responders have equipment that enables them to communicate with one another, according to a DHS survey of first responders and law enforcement officers.

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.



The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group