Agriculture CIO issues Y2K deadlines

As a result of the Agriculture Department's poor progress in preparing to fix the Year 2000 problem USDA chief information officer Anne Reed sent a memo last Friday ordering USDA agencies to assess all mission-critical systems and submit a detailed plan that lays out a schedule for fixing them. The assessment and plan are due Nov. 1. The Office of Management and Budget and Congress have identified the USDA as one of the agencies that has accomplished the least in preparing to fix computers so that they can process Year 2000 dates without creating calculation errors or shutting down.

Reed also made it more difficult for agencies to receive waivers from the USDA's self-imposed moratorium on information technology purchases.

AF picks TRW for intrusion system

The Air Force last week awarded TRW Inc. a $495 million contract to provide equipment for the Tactical Automated Security System. TASS - which includes sensors handheld monitors laptops and other gear - creates an intrusion-detection system around the perimeter of military installations.

NASA taps KPMG for financial system

NASA last week awarded KPMG Peat Marwick LLP a $186 million contract to create an agencywide financial management system. The Integrated Financial Management Program (IFMP) will consist of commercial off-the-shelf software to support the agency's entire 20 000-member civil service population and to manage NASA's $13 billion annual budget. In February NASA narrowed the IFMP bidders to KPMG Lockheed Martin Corp. and American Management Services Inc. which withdrew in May claiming the procurement would be too risky a venture.

Co-op purchasing lives another day

An 11th-hour legislative maneuver by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) last week successfully derailed attempts by opponents of cooperative purchasing to repeal legislation that would allow state and local governments to buy off General Services Administration schedule contracts.

Although members of the House Appropriations Committee voted this summer to repeal the section of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) that would allow cooperative purchasing Davis last week brought forth a "point of order" asking House members to strike the appropriations language dealing with the issue. The request was approved.

Supporters of cooperative purchasing still face an uphill battle. Senate language repealing the FASA language remains an obstacle in addition to opposition from House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) and other members. But a member of Davis' staff said he was optimistic that conferees would craft a compromise.

INS releases Stars RFP

The Immigration and Naturalization Service released last week the request for proposals for a $1.2 billion contract to upgrade systems agencywide. The Service Technology Alliance Resources (Stars) contract will be broken into three lots: program and systems management systems development operation and maintenance and independent validation and verification. Five vendors will be awarded contracts with three awards going to the second lot. Proposals for Stars are due Oct. 29 and INS plans to make awards by July 1998.


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