FEDERAL BYTES

D.C.'s government at work

Last month we were seeking a reaction from the office of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry on why the District government refused to take advantage of the superior rates offered through GSA's FTS 2000 long-distance network. Despite repeated calls no one in the mayor's office ever got back to us.

That is until this month. Our reporter received a call from the mayor's office explaining that Barry was unable to attend our Sounds of Blackness concert but he would send an official proclamation that could be read at the event. We were quite puzzled mainly because we have nothing to do with the concert.

We can only assume that an administrative snafu resulted in our reporter being linked to Sounds of Blackness.

To make matters worse we didn't even receive the proclamation.

Shuttle diplomacy

Attendees of last week's 17th annual Management of Change conference sponsored by the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils gathered in the lobby of an Orlando Fla. hotel awaiting a much-anticipated site visit to the Customs Service National Law Enforcement Communications Center.

Hopes for visiting the site - a state-of-the-art communications facility linking Customs and other law enforcement officers nationwide - dimmed when it was discovered that neither Customs nor the tour sponsor had arranged for transportation as each thought the other responsible for the task. But resourceful federal IT professionals accustomed to working with systems in need of an upgrade organized a caravan of taxis and rental cars to ferry conference attendees to the site.

Semper Mario brothers

Thanks to MAK Technologies Inc. anyone will be able to train like a Marine - without having to visit Parris Island S.C.

MAK Technologies plans to build what the company calls the "first dual-use video game." Specifically the company was awarded a Marine Corps Systems Command contract to design and construct a Marine amphibious-assault video game. The game tentatively titled MEU-31 will be used by Marines for training and also sold in retail stores.

The contract was awarded through the Defense Department's Small Business Innovation Research Program and has a funding ceiling of $800 000.

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