Federal Bytes

Location is everything In putting together its 1998 Program Status Review Conference the Army Small Computer Program Fort Monmouth N.J. has come up with a prize in search of a contest. Earlier this year as the prize for a "Return on Investment" contest SCP offered an all-expenses-paid trip to its 1997 conference in lovely Norfolk Va.

As you might remember FCW lovingly poked fun at SCP reminding readers that "this is the Army and its commander in chief is not Bob Barker." However for 1998 the good folks at Fort Monmouth moved the high-tech shindig to the Marriott Mountain Resort in Vail Colo. even posting a picturesque mountain scene on its home page.

So when is the contest and how do we enter? An Okay party John Okay the No. 2 guy at the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service was honored this month with a retirement party similar to the one held recently for his former boss Bob Woods.

Okay's future boss Tom Hewitt of Federal Sources Inc. spelled out the differences between private and public work to Okay. Among other things Hewitt told Okay - a defender of agencies that compete with private companies for IT contracts - that "your position on outsourcing has changed. It's now obviously the right thing to do." Hewitt proceeded to tell Okay that he will continue to receive visits from the Internal Revenue Service - only now it won't be calling for advice or support on telecommunications.

Out of their WITS With the excessive proliferation of acronyms in the federal IT community no one can be blamed if say an acronym used to describe a Defense Department inventory system might be the same one used to describe a personnel system at the Treasury Department. But how do you explain it when the same agency - in fact the same organization within an agency - uses the same acronym for different systems? It has happened at GSA's FTS.

The FTS Pacific Rim Region has released a draft request for proposals for wITS (note the lower-case "w") which is the Worldwide Information Technology Support program. Was FTS unaware that it already has a WITS contract for the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System? To make things even more confusing FTS has another draft RFP out for WITS 2001 which will be the follow-on to the existing WITS contract. Gosh you'd think those folks at FTS could come up with wittier acronyms. Sorry.

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