Work force watch

GSA Sets Accessibility Goal

The General Services Administration has asked all federal agencies to

make their most popular World Wide Web pages accessible to the disabled

by July 26.

GSA's informal deadline is part of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

of 1998, which requires agencies to make electronic equipment and information

systems, including Web sites, accessible to the disabled.

GSA has asked agencies to make accessible their principal Web pages,

typically the home page, as well as the site's 20 most popular Web pages.

Keith Thurston, assistant to the deputy associate administrator at GSA's

Office of Governmentwide Policy, said he did not know how many agencies

have complied with the request.

Officials Mull Trail Boss Future

Government contracting officials are considering ways to use the now-

discontinued Trail Boss contracting training program to provide management

and security training for next- generation agency IT staff.

Trail Boss Interagency Committee chairman Larry Simon said the Trail

Boss program was "on a course to perish" unless steps were taken to preserve

the network of 900 Trail Boss graduates still active in government.

Simon wants to use Trail Bosses in ways that could help the federal

government train and retain IT managers. "The whole idea is, how can we

use the network to help keep IT professionals in government?" said Simon,

a program manager with the Environmental Protection Agency.

IRS Plans Telecommuting Pilot

The IRS plans to kick off a telecommuting pilot project in mid-June

that would allow some of its employees to work from home several days a

week.

The IRS' Flexiplace pilot program will involve about 20 employees from

the IRS' Information Systems Office of Information Resources Management.

The pilot is scheduled to run about three months and would be voluntary.

The employees chosen for the pilot will work at home from one to three

days a week. They will use a laptop computer and have remote access to e-mail.

During the days they work in the office, employees will be assigned a temporary

workspace where they can plug in their computers to access the agency network

under a concept dubbed "hoteling."

Before the pilot begins, a vendor will train participants on how to

do their jobs under a telecommuting arrangement, and train managers on remote

management skills, said Adriane Thormahlen, senior analyst in the IRM office.

Air Force's Kirkland Named "Trail Boss of the Year'

The 900-member Trail Boss Interagency Committee named Air Force technology

officer Susan Kirkland its 2000 Trail Boss of the Year for her work building

the Air Force's Cargo Movement Operations System.

Kirkland demonstrated "exemplary expertise" in building CMOS, said Dennis

Szymanski, chairman of the committee's management council, which picked

the winner.

CMOS, a system for streamlining shipment processing, helped the Air

Force meet its goals of expanding combat support information systems throughout

the Air Force and Defense Department, Szymanski said. With CMOS, Air Force

vendors are paid within seven days instead of the usual 30- to 90-day payment

lag.

Allan Holmes, Paul McCloskey and Colleen O'Hara contributed to this report.

OMB quizzing agencies on Clinger-Cohen

The Office of Management and Budget will meet with senior officials in the

agencies covered by the Clinger-Cohen Act to determine how far along they

are in developing an agencywide view of their information technology investments.

Held over the next two months, the meetings will include each agency's chief

information officer, chief financial officer, head budget officer and head

procurement executive to get input from each area of an agency affected

by IT investment, Lauren Uher, an official with OMB's Office of Federal

Procurement Policy, said last week.

Last month, Sens. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.),

the respective chairman and ranking member of the Senate Governmental Affairs

Committee, sent letters to all 24 Clinger-Cohen agencies asking them to

detail how far along they are in implementing the act, which calls for agencies

to apply private-sector discipline on federal IT expenditures.

OMB also announced last year that its annual report to Congress under

the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act would focus on IT.

Agencies have until May 18 to respond to the letters, and the FASA reports

are due later this spring, so OMB's meetings with the agency representatives

are primarily to ensure that everyone is on the same page, Uher said at

the General Services Administration's annual Trail Boss Roundup in Williamsburg,

Va.

Diane Frank

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