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Moynihan Bill Injects Funding for State Y2K

U.S. Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation to set up a matching grant to provide relief to state governments struggling to prepare computer systems for the Year 2000. The Y2K State and Local Government Assistance Programs Act of 1999 would require the federal government to pay $2 for every $1 a state spends to remediate systems. The proposed program is geared toward antipoverty programs that straddle agencies, such as Medicaid, welfare and child support.

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$10B Transportation Pact Open to State, Local Agencies

The U.S. Transportation Department awarded 34 prime contracts to 25 companies under a $10 billion information technology services contract. The seven-year Information Technology Omnibus Procurement II (ITOP II) contract, which will be open to state and local agencies, provides a wide range of IT services, including information systems engineering, systems operations and management, and information systems security. ITOP II is a follow-on to a popular, 2 1/2-year-old ITOP contract that hosted $900 million worth of federal orders to nearly reach its ordering ceiling.

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Vendors Position for Huge San Diego County Deal

The IT industry's largest integrators are lining up for San Diego County's billion-dollar outsourcing procurement, due out early this month. Computer Sciences Corp. and Science Applications International Corp. have teamed up to go after the contract, now the largest since Connecticut late last year named Electronic Data Systems Corp. the apparent winner of its computer outsourcing project. EDS also has its sights on San Diego, as does IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin, Wang Global and Fujitsu (Amdahl) Corp. County officials last month hosted a public meeting for vendors and citizens, area businesses and others who will be affected by the proposal.

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Technology Drives Gore's Livable Communities Agenda

Vice President Al Gore launched a program to help develop more "livable communities," in part by promoting the use of shared crime data and smart-road proj-ects by local governments. "The Livability Agenda," to be included in the president's proposed Year 2000 budget, is designed give communities resources to preserve green spaces, ease traffic congestion and encourage collaboration among neighboring jurisdictions affected by regional growth. Gore encouraged the federal government to partner more with state and local entities to solve shared civic problems. He proposed increasing funding for community-based programs by 16 percent to create regional transportation strategies, improve existing roads and encourage alternative transportation.

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Feds Open $17M TIIAP Grant Program

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is accepting applications for its $17 million Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP). Commerce Department Assistant Secretary Larry Irving asked communities to think about the next generation of advanced network technologies, including Next Generation Internet. He also said suggested communities "be like Mike" in their use of technology. "[Michael] Jordan was so successful because he always played to where the ball was going. Can TIIAP grants play to where the technologies are going?" Irving asked.

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State Cups Runneth Over

State governments, which again finished the year with extra money in their coffers, continue to put those funds in "rainy-day" accounts. Only in some cases do states use the money for capital investments, according to the "Fiscal Survey of the States" survey completed recently by the National Governors' Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers. Although many states are still nervous about spending their surpluses, NASBO reported that technology infrastructure and Year 2000 programs are two areas where states are committing extra revenues.

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Y2K Watch: FEMA Embarks on Y2K Roadshow

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is concerned that local emergency preparedness offices have not sufficiently tested Year 2000 fixes. In February and March, FEMA will begin holding Y2K Consequence Management workshops to notify local emergency management services (EMS) offices of critical issues and Year 2000 vulnerabilities. FEMA will stress to local EMS staff the importance of contingency plans and policies they will need to kick in if systems should crash. FEMA reported that many states so far have failed to develop Year 2000 contingency plans. Instead, they are promising to have systems fixed or to handle situations under their current emergency plans.

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