The Buzz Contenders

#2: Karen Evans on security

Can the federal government be shooting itself in the foot by publishing its secure Windows desktop configuration standard and the protocol for automatically monitoring that configuration? Some folks attending the Annual Security Automation Conference and Workshop last week in Gaithersburg, Md., said they were worried about that possibility. But Karen Evans, administrator for e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget, said she had bigger worries. “It is possible that we could be vulnerable, but right now, I would have to say that we can’t be more vulnerable than where we are today. We have utter chaos going on. We’re losing information. We don’t know what’s coming and going. We’re losing laptops that people didn’t even know we had.”

#3: Better, faster, cheaper

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service said it thinks it can work better and faster by trimming 4,000 employees from its 14,000-member workforce. Officials have done the math and said they expect each remaining employee can process 13,600 financial and accounting transactions a year, instead of the average 9,300 transactions the agency clocked for each employee in 2006. DFAS employees process civilian and military paychecks for Defense Department employees. If the better-faster-cheaper approach doesn’t work, DFAS will probably hear about it.

#4: Giuliani: Too many feds

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani made it clear that he wasn’t worried about the retirement tsunami that concerns many federal executives. “The civilian workforce is just too big,” Giuliani told members of the Northern Virginia Technology Council last week. “Forty-two percent are coming up for retirement. I wouldn’t rehire half of them.” Giuliani told the high-tech business leaders in the audience to let information technology replace those baby boomers after the retirement parties end. “What I would do is take advantage of technology,” he said to an appreciative audience.

#5: Follow the money

There is now less than a week left in the government’s fiscal year, and — shock — lawmakers aren’t really close to finalizing work on any of the agency spending bills. The Bush administration has issued veto threats on most of the appropriations bills, contending that they spend too much. The House has taken action on all 12 spending bills. The Senate, however, has yet to take any action on seven of the bills. Howev er, there seems to be agreement that there will not be a government shutdown. Jim Nussle, the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, last week praised a congressional move to pass a no-shutdown amendment.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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