Federal Bytes

GET WITH THE PROGRAM. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center certainly gives its contractors a lot of slack. Last week, the center joined the growing list of agencies issuing requests for proposals on the World Wide Web rather than in hard copy format. But in a nod toward technologically impaired vendors, the center noted that it would provide a PC and printer in its bid room for the use of contractors who do not have direct access to the Web. And it provided a point of contact for folks who have questions about the matter.

It's nice to know that the center will oblige all vendors regardless of their technical capabilities. We only hope that the center's parking lot can accommodate horses and buggies.

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GREAT DOOR PRIZES. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the Treasury Department last week issued a request for quotations for 2,500 "world-time travel alarm clocks" manufactured by Alcraft or of similar make.

This is no common accessory OCC is buying. The unit flips open like a makeup kit, with an eight-key calculator as the base and a large display screen on top. The screen can display the time of day in 16 cities worldwide as well as a monthly calendar. The agency wants each unit emblazoned with the words "Preparing for the Next Millennium" and the OCC seal.

As it turns out, Alcraft also makes the "Generation-3000 Year Calendar," which can display the time, month and year for any time between years 1 and 3000. This might make a good door prize for members of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, once their jobs are done.

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JACQUES THE JOCK. Jacques Gansler, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, last week experienced some difficulty during the kickoff ceremony of the second annual Defense Department Logistics Reform Day. Gansler, equipped with crutches and a cast, hobbled up to the podium to help introduce the day's keynote speaker.

It seems that during a recent Sports Day for the Acquisition and Technology branch at DOD, the high-tech Gansler met face-to-face with the low-tech volleyball court, resulting in a torn Achilles' tendon. Opposing team members scattered throughout the audience were heard mumbling something about spending too much time double-clicking instead of spiking. But as far as we know, endurance mouse maneuvering was not an activity during A&T Sports Day.

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EAT AND RUN. DOD Logistics Reform Day also witnessed the debut of the Air Force's new Initial Deployable Kitchen unit. Rumor has it that the new kitchen system is "heat-and-serve" capable and eventually will take its rightful place alongside the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence fly-away package.

However, those of you who visited the kitchen last week at the Pentagon should not make anything of the fact that it was located directly across from the Marine Corps' Health Services booth. Strictly coincidence. So we're told.

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