Intercepts

DISA DO-SI-DO. Although Army Lt. Gen. Dave Kelley theoretically has a year to go in his tour as Defense Information Systems Agency director, I've picked up signals that Army Lt. Gen. William Campbell, currently the Army widget and communications chief, will succeed Kelley at Courthouse Road— and sooner rather than later. This, I'm told, will then leave room for Army Signal Command chief Maj. Gen. Charles Sutten to take over for Campbell as director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers. This is all in the scuttlebutt stage, but that's what this column is about.

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THE NEW MAN PLAN. DISA has based its control of Metropolitan Area Networks on a memo written by Emmett Paige, the former assistant secretary of Defense for command, control and communications (ASD/C3I), that is more than a year old. But the new C3I management now views the memo as less-than-binding.

When asked about the status of that memo, Marv Langston, Pentagon deputy CIO— as well as a deputy ASD/C3I— pointedly replied, "Memos have a statutory limit of one year."

Langston added that, in his view, if a particular military branch such as the Navy has a large presence in a particular area, such as San Diego, it could and should "own" the MAN. This policy shift should go over well with a "senior Navy official'' who has strongly resisted DISA's MANiacal ambitions.

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CLOSE TO TERM. Art Money, who has to run ASD/C3I under the moniker "Senior Civilian Official,'' acknowledged last week in a speech given during a lunch sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association in Washington that he has set some sort of a record for someone holding down such a high-level post: "Eight months, going on nine— un-nominated and unconfirmed."

Because the White House's current preoccupation, which has delayed such boilerplate duties as nominations, seems likely to extend into next year, it looks like the gestation period for an ASD/C3I nomination will continue to set records for a long time.

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ACCOUNTING TROUBLE. In an unusually sharp letter, Money essentially told the General Accounting Office it has real trouble with accounting when it comes to how DISA handles its appropriated and working capital funds, particularly for the operation of the Defense megacenters.

GAO questioned the charges DISA passed on to its customers— the armed forces— for the work done in the megacenters.

Money, in a letter to GAO, said the Pentagon questioned "the accuracy of the data, the degree of the objectivity and the balance[d] portrayal of the fact'' in the report, prepared by a GAO team led by Darby Smith.

I'm told that the Pentagon reacted so fiercely to what it viewed as a misguided bean-counter missile because officials detected a "political agenda" from the start of the GAO investigation, which was "launched with the preconceived notion" that the agency was cooking its books.

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IT-21 LAN UPDATE. This is turning into a weekly feature. Once again there is a delay of the award on Information Technology for the 21st Century, a key shipboard contract.

And on a related note, last week Cabletron Systems informed me that the company has placed its products on the bidding team led by GTE Government Systems Corp. and is not totally shut out as I reported two weeks ago.

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