Federal Bytes

De Vera gets stern warningManny De Vera the National Institutes of Health's program manager for some high- profile governmentwide information technology contracts last week had to endure a lot of ribbing and engage in a lot of explaining. The cause of De Vera's troubles was advertisements for NIH's ImageWorld and Chief Information Officer Solutions and Partners programs which were heard this month on local radio stations some even ran during "shock jock" Howard Stern's morning show.

At a symposium on governmentwide contracts last week De Vera explained to a group of IT vendors and federal procurement officials that he had received a number of calls about the ads including one from a classical radio station that wanted NIH to advertise with it.

Another call came from NIH's Office of Communications which wanted to know why De Vera had chosen to advertise on Stern's show. De Vera jokingly said he replied "Who's Howard Stern?"

De Vera insists that he didn't know during which shows the ads would run leaving the buying decisions up to Stackig Advertising and Public Relations the private firm that handled the account.

"I hope this wasn't misinterpreted " he told the audience.

So far it doesn't seem to have been. "As of today I still have my job " De Vera quipped.

Grab that cash with both hands

Government Technology Services Inc. has developed some interesting rituals for reducing peak-buying-season stress. Every Friday the federal reseller's top sales people get to take turns in the "money machine."

The money machine is a Plexiglas booth equipped with a fan that whips $450 in cash around and around. The contestant enters the booth and tries to grab as much cash as possible in the time allotted.

In addition to the money machine GTSI has retained a massage therapist to give neck and shoulder rubdowns to tense sales people.

What's e-mail?

It seems the chief information officers have their work cut out for them. Speaking to AFFIRM last week Office of Management and Budget deputy director for management John Koskinen quipped that the CIO Council of which he is chairman has learned from recent meetings that its members don't necessarily have the means to electronically communicate with each other .

Some of the CIOs it appears didn't know their e-mail addresses. Others when asked offered the wrong ones Koskinen said. And some couldn't send e-mail outside their agencies.

Maybe this means that because management is aware of a problem others no doubt share something will finally be done about it.

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