Letters to the Editor

Too clever by two-thirds

As a former Navy man, I read with interest your editorial "Too clever by half" [Federal Computer Week, March 13] concerning future generations of automated warships.

The points made in the editorial are certainly germane, but you missed a couple of big points regarding reduced manning. In the case of the DD-21, the goal is a two-thirds reduction in manning. Does that mean that the ship's collateral duties list will shrink by two-thirds also? What about keeping the ship clean? With two-thirds less cleaners, will the cleanliness standards be reduced?

Automation is great, but I don't see it replacing "bluejackets" in these two areas. I also don't see collateral duties or cleanliness standards changing.

Steve Burling

Machinist mate construction mechanic (SS)

U.S. Navy retired

No more delay on FTS 2001

Fifteen months after FTS 2001 contract award, it is too late to call any transition strategy..."bold"! ["A war over FTS 2001,", Federal Computer Week, March 27].

Those agencies that made decisions on which vendor to use for each service and took action were on the correct path. Those that took months to decide delayed receiving the cost and technological benefits that the new contract provides. I know there are some problems with the providers being able to handle all the transitioning agencies, but it is beyond time for the agencies to aggressively move out on the new contract.

Ron Hack

Former chairman of the Interagency Management Council for Federal Telecommunications

Internet tax miscalculation

The conclusion drawn in this article ["Tax-free Internet means fewer IT workers," Federal Computer Week, March 6] is an unrealistic leap of faith totally unsupported by past actions by the states. At least this is true of Washington state, and there is no reason to believe we are significantly different from any other state.

Tax revenues go into a general fund. They are then lost to the originally intended benefactor, for example, schools, roads, handicapped programs. Rather, they are spent to support bloated state agency budgets and "pork barrel" pet projects.

What in heaven's name makes this any different? And what evidence can be quoted to support the conclusion?

Randy McSmith

Intermec Technologies Corp.

Bothell, Wash.

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