Deadbeats

Perhaps the most lengthy notice we've ever seen published in the Commerce Business Daily appeared on July 23. The notice listed dozens of contracting offices that will not be allowed to publish notices in CBD until they pay their overdue bills for April's CBD printing fees.

Although CBD provided free printing services to agencies for 45 years, Congress stopped appropriating funds for these services as of last October, so if the name of your contracting office appeared in the notice - and there were lots of them - call the Government Printing Office pronto to settle your account.

The notice stated it bluntly: "The CBD staff understands that the temporary suspension of service may interrupt the schedule for a contract action. However, the CBD program is funded through the printing fee, and all organizations must pay their bill accordingly."

Knowledge of computers a plus

Some federal IT execs are a little uneasy about the process of chief information officer appointments and whether the right kind of people will rise to the positions.

Some have been especially concerned since the CIO Council began circulating a sample ad for the CIO opening at the Commerce Department.

The one-page ad describes the department's mission, the CIO's salary ($115,700 a year in case you're interested) and some job requirements, such as communications skills, knowledge of federal information technology policy and business skills.

The kicker is the last sentence, which almost reads like an afterthought: "Knowledge of the concepts and technical issues in IT planning, information resources management, systems acquisition and software development is desirable."

The Year 2000 problem? What problem?

The House Government Management, Information and Technology Subcommittee may be on to something.

Last week, Reps. Steve Horn (R-Calif.), Constance Morella (R-Md.), Tom Davis (R-Va.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Peter Blute (R-Mass.) held a press conference to release results of a survey the subcommittee conducted to grade federal agencies on their plans for fixing computer systems to recognize the Year 2000.

Most agencies received a failing grade, including the Transportation Department, which was one of four agencies that received an "F."

DOT, it was learned, did not even respond to the survey. When FCW asked a DOT spokesman to comment on why the department failed to respond to the Year 2000 survey, the official didn't know what the Year 2000 problem was and why it was so critical. This despite widespread coverage in trade journals, major newspapers and magazines and a federal interagency committee devoted to helping agencies work through the problem.

Maybe DOT should have received an "I" for "incomplete."

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