FEDERAL BYTES

`The Price Is Right' this ain't Catching the spirit of smart government business practices the Army Small Computer Program Fort Monmouth N.J. is sponsoring a Return on Investment Contest which invites Army groups to submit details of successful re-engineering efforts.

But before you let your imagination run wild with visions of prize trips on the Love Boat to an exotic island remember this is the Army and its commander in chief is not Bob Barker. The Army's Holy Grail of reinvention is an all-expenses-paid trip to Norfolk Va. for the Small Computer Program's Program Status Review conference where the lucky winners can hobnob with the program manager and product leaders.I'd like Door No. 3 Bob.

Every problem deserves a logo

The Year 2000 problem has been solved! No not that Year 2000 problem we mean the problem of coming up with a logo that will call attention to the issue. The government's Year 2000 Interagency Committee last week selected a logo designed by Air Force employees Jade Tavaglione and Lt. Eric Doggett to represent the effort. The logo which can be seen at www.itpolicy.gsa.

gov features the large block characters "Y2K " with the sun peering over the curvature of the Earth (see story Page 10).

Right time wrong place

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) found himself in a time/space quandary last week at the Year 2000 Conference and Expo in Washington D.C. He arrived at the conference site on time but in the wrong space: a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.

Davis explaining why he was a few minutes late to deliver the conference's keynote address quipped that he almost delivered his Year 2000 speech to the veterans.

Just desserts

Dave Bittenbender telecom chief at the Justice Department stepped down from his post as chairman of the Inter-agency Management Council at the council's meeting last week. He told us he rewarded himself for a job well-done by stopping on his way back to the office for a carton of Ben & Jerry's chocolate chip ice cream. At press time Bittenbender said he had already polished off about two-thirds of his prize. "I know I'll pay for that " he remarked. Ah the sweet taste of success.

Cupid shuns cyberspace

The Internet may have won over the minds of Americans but apparently it hasn't won their hearts. The U.S. Postal Service said 90 percent of Americans would prefer to receive a paper-based love letter than a valentine through cyberspace. Although USPS makes much of its forays into high-tech kiosk and encryption key certification programs its employees remain (at least on Valentine's Day) old-fashioned "messengers of love " according to a USPS press release.

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