INTERCEPTS

The Interceptor has taken his redacted version of the Desktop V protests, the DISN strategy paper and Spies Without Cloaks and left town for some R&R. In his absence, a team of Interceptor wannabes donned antennas, moved into his territory and filed the following report.

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Kendall sightings. Cynthia Kendall, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for information management, was spotted in the building the Interceptor fondly calls Oz, located not far from the Beltway. Kendall retired last spring and has begun consulting on performance measures for IDC Government. She will also be doing some consulting for Century Technologies.

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Let me try this again. If Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) doesn't approve of DISA's linked bidding approach to the DISN strategy, maybe that's because he just doesn't understand. That's the approach - evidently borrowed from the Clinton administration's health care team - DISA director Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds took responding to Stevens' query of why DISA wasn't taking the integrated approach favored by AT&T.

In a letter dated June 7, Edmonds meticulously and patiently reiterates why DISA believes its approach is in the best interest of the government. After spelling out yet again how the approach works, he said the linked bid "allows for potential cost savings of an integrated bid while maintaining maximum flexibility for cost-effective technical enhancements and competition."

If there's a buzzword missing in this letter, the faux Interceptors didn't notice.

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Stand-down declared a success. The Defense Department has declared its May 31 Acquisition Reform Acceleration Day a big success. Modeled on the Navy's recent stand-downs, the event was intended to focus employees' attention on the need to move faster on DOD's acquisition reform initiatives. For most procurement shops, the day was spent listening to in-house officials congratulating themselves on recent accomplishments.

The gab-fest was supplemented by a special Web site, http://www.acq.osd.mil/dau/accelday.htm, where acquisition professionals could download such goodies as the DOD Guide to Integrated Product and Process Development and a Guide to Earned Value Management and Acquisition Reform. Maybe it wasn't that inspiring, but as an old friend used to say, "A day away from the office is a day well-spent."

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Speaking of acquisition reform. The Interceptor's substitute antennae have picked up signals that some think the timing on the Navy's recent broad ordering agreements with McBride and Associates and AmeriData Federal for portable computers seem a bit odd.

One industry source speculated that the Navy didn't get the brand of portables it wanted on NTOPS - Elite Group Computer Systems, Commax and Everex - and so opted to create an alternate vehicle for its preferred brands - as it turns out, Toshiba and IBM. Evidently, the new acquisition atmosphere represents a new cause for hope for brand bigots who haven't been treated well by the penny-pinching, "procurement is blind" approach in days of yore.

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