Federal Bytes

STAMP OUT Y2K PROBLEMS. The Clinton administration kicks off an aggressive campaign this week, which it has declared "National Y2K Action Week." Hundreds of educational events and outreach activities such as seminars, workshops and online tutorials are expected to be conducted to help managers throughout the country address the millennium bug computer problem.

As part of the campaign, the administration unveiled a commemorative National Year 2000 Action Week postal cancellation stamp, which will be issued in major cities to promote Year 2000 awareness. The cancellation stamp includes the government's Year 2000 logo alongside the ominous question: "Are you Y2K OK?"

If nothing else, this stamp should get the message across to the folks at the Postal Service.

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STATE OF CONFUSION. Poor Al Gore. He tries to keep a low profile while his boss is embroiled in a sex scandal, and what happens? The Republicans still find something to pick on him about.

According to a statement faxed to FCW by the Republican National Committee, Gore misspoke last week while attending a fund-raiser in Minneapolis. "They will be the education team that Missouri needs to move into the 21st Century," Gore apparently said at an Oct. 12 event in Minnesota— not Missouri.

Oops. Where's a good GIS when you need one, Mr. Veep?

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IF YOU DON'T LIKE US, TOUGH! General Services Administration Administrator David Barram boasted at the Industry Advisory Council (IAC) conference this month that GSA has reinvented itself to the point where it can tell potential customers at federal agencies, "If you like us, use us; if you don't, don't"— and actually mean it.

But the next government speaker proved once and for all that while that attitude may work for GSA, it won't necessarily work for other agencies. No matter how many changes he has planned or how much support the idea got from the audience, new Internal Revenue Service chief information officer Paul Cosgrave admitted he couldn't quite figure out how to get the IRS to adopt the same motto.

Cosgrave bashing. Others at the IAC conference found sport in ribbing Cosgrave, who good-naturedly endured a lot of jovial IRS bashing during the IAC panel discussion.

In fact, when panel member Barbara Connor, president of Bell Atlantic Federal Systems, took the podium, she jokingly told the audience she was relieved not to have sit next to the IRS guy any longer. Cosgrave later commented that he now understood why some people do not like working at the IRS.

There has been no word yet on when the audit of Connor's financial records is planned.

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