Fedwire

Bill would make CRS put data on Net

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last week introduced legislation that calls on the Congressional Research Service to put its reports, issue briefs and other information products on the Internet. Users could access the information at no charge, 30 days after it is issued to members of Congress, according to the bill language. CRS, a division of the Library of Congress, provides information and analysis to members of Congress. The bill would give the CRS director discretion to withhold information deemed confidential.

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NIMA contract valued at $333 million

Officials at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency said they expect to spend $333 million over five years on a systems engineering contract the agency awarded late last month.

The contract— for NIMA Systems Engineering Services— was awarded to prime contractor Science Applications International Corp., whose key partners include Lockheed Martin Corp., TASC and Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc. The NSES project will have NIMA and its contractors revamping systems that will be integrated into the U.S. Imagery and Geospatial Information System— an umbrella term for the assortment of systems the agency uses to create electronic and paper maps and imagery for federal decision-makers in the arenas of military, intelligence and policy-making.

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Administration releases draft Net plan

The Clinton administration last week released a draft discussion plan proposing to transfer to a nonprofit corporation the federal government's role in assigning Internet domain names and maintaining the routing hardware that is the core of the network .

The proposal would end the longtime involvement of the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency— two of the federal agencies that helped develop today's Internet— in doling out Internet addresses and assigning the unique numbers that serve as routing addresses.

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Rossotti: IRS needs IT funds

Charles Rossotti, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, told the Senate Finance Committee last week that his agency needs more funds to pay for modern technology to reorganize the agency.

"One of the limiting factors in our ability to modernize our business practices at the IRS today is our computer systems, which are extremely deficient in their ability to support our missions and goals," Rossotti said. He declined to say how much money the IRS needs.

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Council to release pricing guidelines

The Chief Financial Officers Council plans to publish new cost-accounting guidelines on the Internet this week to help agencies adhere to federal standards for pricing when offering services to other federal agencies. The guide was produced as part of an effort to mitigate criticism that agencies have been competing unfairly against the private sector for federal contracts.

"This tells agencies what costs to include when they are setting their fees to other agencies," said Frank Sullivan, deputy CFO at the Department of Veterans Affairs and chairman of the council committee that developed the guide. "It gets into the issue that agencies should include all costs of doing business when pricing services." The guidelines will be available at www.financenet.gov/financenet/fed/cfo/.

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