Set-Asides

Treasury calls for tax software

The Treasury Department has asked vendors of payroll software to develop applications that would generate multiple tax reports for federal and state agencies so employers would only have to enter wage information into their payroll systems once.

As part of its Simplified Tax and Wage Reporting System program Treasury published its requirements for the software on Aug. 1 and now wants software vendors to comment on whether they can create these applications. The software would cover employee withholding unemployment insurance and Social Security information.

USDA to award IT grants

The Agriculture Department is accepting grant proposals from federal research agencies national laboratories universities and others for projects to improve rural Americans' access to information technology.

The money $2.1 million will come from the Fund for Rural America established by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. Overall the fund will provide $100 million annually for the next three years for research education and extension or rural development.

Geographic survey prepared

The Federal Geographic Data Committee and the National States Geographic Information Council will begin this month to prepare the fall release of a survey to assess the types and amounts of electronic geographic data held by hundreds of federal local and state agencies. The survey is a first step toward developing a National Spatial Data Infrastructure and will allow users of geographic data to know what is available to avoid the trouble of recreating data.

A call for fed/state Y2K summit

Pennsylvania's top information technology officer last month called for a national summit focusing on the Year 2000 problem and how state and federal information systems will communicate. Larry A. Olson Pennsylvania's deputy secretary for IT made the proposal in a letter to Carolyn Purcell president of the National Association of State Information Resource Executives and John Koskinen chairman of the Federal CIO Council. In his letter Olson cited his concern "about the lack of communication and coordination" between IT executives with state and federal agencies.

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