This year's Federal 100 judges met at FCW's offices on Saturday Jan. 4. The weather which is almost always remarkable on the day of the judging was remarkably warm and sunny - a condition that increased the value of the judges' contribution of their day off.
Each panel of judges has its own personality and their choices reflect their priorities and their experiences. This year's judges followed the precedent set by all previous panels and eliminated themselves from consideration. They also decided that they would not give awards this year to individuals who essentially got the award for the same accomplishment last year. So for example Hill staff who were selected last year for their work on procurement reform were not picked again this year even though some portion of the process may have spilled over into 1996.
Other guidelines for selection have remained constant over the years:
* The award is for work done in 1996.
* This is an all-star team not a hall-of-fame award.
* It is what the person did that counts not the job occupied.
* Some selections may be controversial. This is not a popularity contest. Individuals who had a major effect on the community may not be uniformly liked. The effects can be negative and still be significant.
* Acknowledging that a person is influential is not an endorsement of behavior.
* Some of the awards may be symbolic representing other deserving people who may have done similar but unrecognized work.
Each year themes emerge from the work of those selected. The Year 2000 encryption policy and industry/government communication stood out this year as dominant concerns.
But each year as we read through the collection of accomplishments recorded here we are reminded once again that even in the midst of dramatic change it is people who make the difference in federal computing.
We thank the judges for their time and their support and we salute the 1997 Federal 100.
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James J. FlyzikActing Deputy Assistant SecretaryInformation SystemsDepartment of the Treasury
Flyzik has been a point man for information technology in the National Performance Review. As chairman of the Government Information Technology Services Board and its predecessor the GITS Working Group he has become one of the top evangelists - and a guiding influence - for agencies seeking better ways to buy and deploy technology.
Flyzik brings to the judging panel a broad view of the innovations that are occurring throughout the government. And as a frequent speaker at government and industry functions he understands the value of promoting new ideas that work.
Flyzik's experience in government spans more than 15 years including positions with the Secret Service and most recently as director of the Treasury Office of Telecommunications Management. A 1994 Eagle Award winner this is his second time as a Federal 100 judge.
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Bruce McConnellChief of Information Policy and TechnologyOffice of Information and Regulatory AffairsOffice of Management and Budget
McConnell has been a constant and steadying presence amid the tumult of changes in how the government buys and uses IT. His office watches guides and occasionally cajoles agencies as they put into practice the new freedoms that procurement reform brings. In addition to developing polices to help agencies carry out the Information Technology Management Reform Act (now the Clinger-Cohen Act) the office worked to define the role of chief information officers in the government promote capital planning methods and guide agencies through their Year 2000 upgrades.
In his fourth tour as a Federal 100 judge McConnell brought a special understanding of encryption and privacy issues from his work as co-chairman of the Interagency Working Group on Cryptography Policy. He also participates in a number of other interagency organizations including the Government Information Technology Services Board and he heads the Government Information Working Group of the Information Infrastructure Task Force.
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Colleen A. PrestonDeputy Undersecretary of DefenseAcquisition ReformDepartment of Defense
Preston who resigned from her position at DOD in February has been on the front lines of acquisition reform for nearly a decade both at the Pentagon and on the staff of the House Committee on Armed Services.
She took the lead on reform efforts in 1993 when she joined OSD and began crafting major changes to the department's acquisition policies. These efforts culminated last year in the publication of a significantly streamlined version of DOD's "5000" acquisition guidelines.
But more important than any particular document Preston has been a major force in the government acquisition arena because of her willingness to campaign tirelessly for change despite the sometimes stiff resistance in some quarters at DOD. Preston and her staff have contributed significantly to governmentwide reform efforts undertaken by the administration and Congress and Preston became a frequent speaker at acquisition-related conferences.
Before joining FCW's panel of Federal 100 judges Preston herself won four Federal 100 awards.
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Cynthia RandPrincipal Director for Information ManagementOffice of the Assistant Secretary of Defensefor Command Control Communications and Intelligence
Representing DOD in the judging is always a challenge because the department is a major player in IT but its participants are many and far-flung. Rand represented the office of ASD C3I which is often at the focus of IT issues in DOD. She is acutely aware of the issues and the players as she has been a standard-bearer for Defense as it tackles the challenges of the Year 2000 outsourcing and the Information Technology Management Reform Act.
She also helped shepherd the development of DOD's policies procedures and guidelines in these areas while answering the multitude of requests for information from Congress and GAO.
Her background includes a valuable mix of information management and public policy. She came to DOD from the Department of Transportation where she was director of IRM. And having previously served as deputy chairman for management at the National Endowment for the Arts she is no stranger to controversy or marauding budget-cutters.
She won a Federal 100 award herself in 1994 for her accomplishments at DOT.
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Robert J. WoodsCommissionerFederal Telecommunications ServiceGeneral Services Administration
As if he didn't already have his hands full managing FTS 2000 and the new generation of governmentwide telecom contracts Woods last year took on a slew of additional interagency projects. He now stands at the helm of a host of GSA programs including the Federal Computer Acquisition Center the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center the Federal Acquisition Services for Technology and program management offices for government- wide e-mail and security services. These programs provide more than $2 billion worth of products and services to agencies throughout government.
A 25-year veteran of federal IRM Woods previously held high-level jobs at the Department of Veterans Affairs DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration. Throughout his career he participated in cross-agency groups concerned with telecommunications service to the citizen and other issues.
His experience working with agencies makes him a keen observer of what works and what does not in federal IT and an excellent judge of the achievements of those involved. This year marked his fourth as a Federal 100 judge.
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Dan YoungPresident and Chief Executive OfficerFederal Data Corp.
The job of representing industry usually goes to an individual from an association in an effort to avoid any appearance of favoritism to one company. However Young's experience and reputation made it difficult to find a better industry representative. A "straight-shooter " Young brought to the judging table years of experience in government contracting a solid knowledge of the changing procurement process and strong ties to the contracting community. Above all Young is a "people person" who either knows you or has heard of you.
Young joined Federal Data in 1976 as its executive vice president. Previously he was executive vice president and a member of the Board of Data Transmission Co. Those who have worked with him cite Young's integrity and vision as the principal reason for Federal Data's success in the market.
Unlike many among his rank Young is also somewhat of a technophile. An avid user of technology Young is usually the first at his company to try out a new technology whether it be a new e-mail package or electronic calendaring software.
Young was among the first batch of Federal 100 recipients in 1990 and again took home the award in 1994. This is his first tour of duty as a Federal 100 judge.