Federal Bytes

Acronym acrimony

What's in a name? Tradition and pow-er if you're in the Navy and are used to being called the CIO. We hear there's a spat going on between Rear Adm. Kendell Pease who directs the Navy's main public relations office (CHINFO) and Marv Langston the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for C4I. Langston was recently selected to be the Navy's CIO as in chief information officer or IT guru. (The Navy is required to name a CIO under the Information Technology Management Reform Act.) But Pease is already the Navy's chief of information as in head spin doctor and doesn't want anyone else to be the chief information officer. The acronym battle has apparently delayed Langston's official appointment as CIO. Maybe the Navy should change CHINFO to CHIPRO (Chief Public Relations Office) or CHIFLO (Chief Flack Office).

G.A.G.A (going after gratuitous acronyms)

Bruce McConnell director of the Office of Management and Budget's Information Technology Policy Branch said the folks in his office have a novel way of cutting down on the use of unexplained acronyms in office conversation: Anyone who uses an acronym in his office has 20 seconds to translate it or else that person must pay a quarter to the office kitty. Another rule: Anyone who accuses another staff member of using an unexplained acronym may be fined a quarter if the acronym in question is one the accuser should have known. We assume this is done to protect the utterance of common acronyms such as ADP or DOD.The money goes to purchase "Friday afternoon beer " so at least transgressors know their fines are going to a good cause.

Woods snubbed

Conspicuous by their absence at the General Services Administration's IRMCO conference last week were most of the folks who run the agency's IT operations. While the conference covered the IT policy waterfront quite well there was little mention of any programs run out of GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service - with the exception of the IT Integration Division which moved to FTS last month.

When asked why he his deputy and his assistant commissioners did not participate FTS commissioner Bob Woods replied simply: He wasn't invited.

Woods said he had the impression that IRMCO organizers wanted to focus strictly on policy issues so they did not even bother sending invitations to Woods and his upper management. He said government employees may attend IRMCO on an invitation-only basis.


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