White House Y2K council meets

The President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, meeting for the first time last week, formed groups to encourage agencies to work with companies that do business with the federal government and to address personnel issues that affect Year 2000 fixes.

The council formed one group to work with agencies that do business with companies in the energy sector and another group to work with agencies that rely on telecommunications companies. The agencies will encourage the firms to make sure their computers will be Year 2000-compliant by next year.

The council also announced its membership, which consists of 34 representatives from a wide range of agencies. Also on the committee are three representatives from the Chief Information Officers Council's Year 2000 Committee who will act as liaisons between the CIO Council and the conversion council. For a complete roster of the Year 2000 conversion council, go to www.fcw.com.

State awards digital passports contract

In an effort to cut down on fraudulent U.S. passports, the State Department last week awarded a $63 million contract to Thermo Digital Technologies to provide high-tech printers to process passports.

In what is the first change to the U.S. passport since 1981, State's Bureau of Consular Affairs awarded the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to add security measures, such as digital images, to the 7 million passports the bureau plans to issue next year. Thermo Digital will supply the bureau with up to 209 printers to replace the decades-old printers the bureau now uses. For more information, go to www.fcw.com.

Defense computers hacked in wargame

The Defense Department last week publicly acknowledged for the first time the results of a secret wargame that found DOD unclassified computer systems vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Called Eligible Receiver, the June 1997 wargame found that the Pentagon "has a lot of work to do to provide better security," according to a Pentagon spokesman. DOD has 2.1 million computers with 100,000 local-area networks and more than 100 long-distance networks.

While the highly secure networks often receive the most public attention, the exercise proved that military officials need to pay more attention to standard computer networks that transmit e-mail and other administrative information, such as payroll data, as well as the nation's infrastructure, including the electrical power grid, the spokesman said.

GSA kicks off telecom pact for disabled

The General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service last week issued a solicitation for the Federal Relay Service contract, which will provide intermediary telecom services to allow individuals with hearing or speech disabilities to communicate with hearing individuals. The contract will replace the existing Federal Information Relay Service, held by Sprint under a five-year contract, which handles about 108,000 calls each year, a Sprint spokesman said.

Dee Smith to join OAO Corp.

Delores "Dee'' Smith will join OAO Corp. next month as director of systems development for electronic commerce. Smith retired in December from the Defense Department, where she developed EC programs as part of the acquisition reform staff.


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