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.
- 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.
Other noteworthy news
- Perot Systems Government Services is expected to announce a major acquisition Monday of a privately held company that holds several large military contracts.
"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.