- By Judi Hasson
- Jan 01, 1990
Preparing for the Handoff
It's getting to be that time in the political season when federal agencies
write up transition reports for the next administration, no matter who takes
office. Treasury Department Chief Information Officer Jim Flyzik said most
agencies are thinking about the process. The CIO Council, which he co-chairs,
has formed teams that are working with industry associations to develop
briefing papers for the next administration.
"There clearly is a need to look at it from an information technology
perspective in agencies as well as governmentwide [including such issues
as] records retention [and] historical record preservation," Flyzik said.
Back to the Stone Age
And speaking of transitions, it may be the age of the paperless society,
but the federal government doesn't know it when it comes to presidential
appointees. Most presidential appointees in the next administration will
have to find a typewriter or fill out by hand more than 30 pages of questions
required for confirmation. That includes questions from the FBI about where
they've lived for the past seven years and the names of friends as far back
as high school.
With the exception of a few enlightened agencies, including the departments
of Agriculture and Energy and the General Services Administration, which
have made financial disclosure forms available online, presidential appointees
still have to fill out all their tax data, investment data and salary history
by hand. "It's keeping the typewriter industry going," said Paul Light,
vice president of the Brookings Institution. "It's really a nightmare."
What's in a Name?
In order to sidestep political mud- slinging and put in place a much-
needed system to track cyberattacks and intrusions across civilian agencies,
GSA is dropping the name of its Federal Intrusion Detection Network program.
Rather than treat the "program formerly known as FIDNet" as a distinct entity,
GSA is simply folding its capabilities into the agency's existing security
Officials within agencies, Congress and the private sector agree that
there needs to be a way to promote a big-picture view of security incidents
across government. Unfortunately, it has been impossible to get past the
rhetoric from Congress and privacy advocacy groups following an article
claiming that FIDNet would monitor private-sector systems as well. So, according
to agency sources, GSA, which has been in charge of the initiative from
the beginning, has decided to go forward with plans for the system while
dropping plans for a separate program and the baggage attached to its name.
My Summer Vacation
Some people head to the beach, others to the mountains. But Anne Reed,
formerly CIO at the USDA and now vice president of the global industry group
at Electronic Data Systems Corp., went to Honduras, spending nine days working
at a home for abused and abandoned girls in San Pedro Sula. Along with other
volunteers, she painted, varnished, cleared a field and helped build houses.
"They wanted us more for our brawn than our brains," she said. But she also
helped set up a room with 16 computers that are hooked up to the Internet.
It was her fourth trip to the community, which she has supported for years
through Christ Church in Alexandria, Va.
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