Fedwire Briefs

Treasury picks Sprint for telecom

The Treasury Department late last week selected Sprint as its vendor on the FTS 2001 long-distance telecommunications contract. A company spokesman said Treasury represents the first "major" agency to sign on to its FTS 2001 contract, awarded by the General Services Administration last month.

Since the award to Sprint and a subsequent FTS 2001 award to MCI WorldCom this month, agencies have begun the process of determining which vendor should handle their telecommunications requirements. Sprint previously held Treasury's business under the FTS 2000 contract but lost most of it about two years ago when AT&T undercut Sprint's prices. However, the cutover to AT&T ran into problems, and Sprint retained many of Treasury's data services.

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Feds work on student online service

Federal agencies began working last week with college officials to design a World Wide Web-based program that would provide students with government services.

Access America for Students, part of Vice President Al Gore's Access America, will center around an online "one-stop shop" at which college students would be able to, among other things, apply for financial aid and passports and determine if they qualify for student loans.

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Koskinen: Feds OK on Y2K

John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, last week told Congress he is confident that all mission-critical systems will be fixed by the end of 1999.

Koskinen told a joint House hearing that even those agencies that have reportedly lagged in fixing their computers for the Year 2000, such as the Defense Department, will be ready.

But Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), chairman of the House subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, said, "I remain deeply concerned about the Department of Defense."

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Navy intranet stakes raised

The Navy's top officer last week raised the stakes in the service's pursuit to build an intranet to link half a million Navy users around the world by 2001.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jay Johnson said in a speech at the West '99 conference sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the Naval Institute that the Navy of the 21st century must be prepared to operate in the "the boundless domains of the sea, space and cyberspace.... We cannot afford not to" build the intranet.

Military and industry sources said Johnson's remarks increase the possibility of a turf fight between the Navy and the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is responsible for providing global service to all Defense Department users. For the complete story, go to www.fcw.com.

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Microsoft wins Marine deal

The Marine Corps has signed a $5.7 million deal with Microsoft Corp. for the BackOffice suite of software and Exchange Server software as a step in an ongoing migration to Windows NT.

The Marines will buy 62,000 BackOffice client access licenses and 350 Exchange Server licenses, said Maj. William Harrison with the IT Infrastructure Program Office, Quantico, Va. The Marines use software from Banyan Systems Inc. Earlier this month Microsoft agreed to invest $10 million in Banyan over the next three years.

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NARA plans practices guide

The National Archives and Records Administration announced Friday that it is developing a best-practices guide for electronic recordkeeping that agencies can use until "more complete and longer-term solutions'' are available. The agency plans to discuss the project at the next meeting of the Bimonthly Records and Information Discussion Group Jan. 26.

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Missile defense gets boost

The Defense Department last week nearly tripled the budget for developing a national missile defense (NMD) system but warned that the decision to go forward with such a system depends on whether DOD's technology is capable of supporting it.

Speaking at a Pentagon news briefing, Defense Secretary William Cohen said DOD's fiscal 2000 budget will include an additional $6.6 billion for a NMD system, bringing the total amount budgeted for the program to more than $10 billion. Cohen also announced the deadline to deploy NMD was moved from 2003 to 2005.

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