Set-Asides

Panel slices IT research funds

The Senate Appropriations Committee has denied the Energy Department's $70 million budget request for its Scientific Simulation Initiative, a piece of the Clinton administration's proposed $366 million information technology research program that would pay for cutting-edge supercomputers and software.

A spokesman with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said the panel's decision did not come as a surprise under the current budget blueprint, which caps discretionary spending, and is not being viewed as a rejection of the program. "We're hoping it would be reversed," the spokesman said.

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GITSB to relaunch IEP

The Government Information Technology Services Board plans to revive its Intergovernmental Enterprise Panel to promote collaboration among federal, state and local agencies delivering electronic services.

Kathleen Hirning, deputy director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, said she will head the panel, but the form the group will take has not been settled. Hirning said she wants to "take advantage of existing groups that are working well."

GITSB disbanded the original IEP last winter because it had not moved fast enough to fund projects demonstrating intergovernmental systems.

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Work force report delayed

The CIO Council has delayed by about 10 days the release of a report about the federal information technology work force so that differences raised by the Office of Personnel Management can be resolved.

Ira Hobbs, deputy CIO at the Agriculture Department and co-chairman of the CIO Council's Education and Training Committee, said the committee is committed to working with OPM and that the differences are resolvable. He declined to identify what specific issues OPM raised.

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Cohen calls for revolution

Defense Secretary William Cohen last week launched the Defense Department's Acquisition and Logistics Reform Week, imploring DOD's cadre of acquisition and logistics professionals to take risks and be innovative in changing the way they do business.

Cohen called Operation Allied Force in Kosovo the most precise campaign in the history of warfare and said its successes would not have been possible without advances in acquisition and logistics. However, despite these successes, the acquisition community must continue to revolutionize the department's business practices, Cohen said.

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