Letter to the editor
Your story "What's up with Seat?" [Federal Computer Week, July 24, 2000] gives the
wrong impression that the HUD Office
of Inspector General is somehow having problems with its implementation
of seat management.
The story uses sensational quotes taken out of context from a wide-ranging
interview that took place about three months ago to paint an incorrect picture
of our experience as well as our relationship with our contractor, DynCorp.
More regrettable, the story fails to understand the enormity of the
task that the HUD OIG has taken on seat management being a large part
of that task, but only part.
In the space of 24 months, the HUD OIG has gone from a standing start
and "Jurassic technology" to its own secure system and support structure,
featuring the zenith of auditing and investigative software that will set
a new standard for the inspector general community. Three steps have been
required to implement:
* Site preparation (accomplished by Signal Corp. with the General Services
* Seat management (being accomplished by DynCorp).
* A new auditing and investigative software (being accomplished by Paisley
In the story, HUD OIG is portrayed as not having addressed requirements
until November 1999 and not being involved with the design of the system
that DynCorp is implementing. In fact, three months were devoted to gathering
requirements so that we could choose functional specifications in the seat
management task order based on our business rather than trying to dictate
equipment specifications based on the latest technology.
The reason implementation was suspended in October 1999 was that it
had become apparent that our schedule was overly aggressive in assuming
that the three parts to our implementation could occur simultaneously.
During this brief implementation hiatus 10 months ago, HUD OIG had the
time to reassess our aggressive implementation schedule. Senior managers
from HUD OIG and DynCorp were actively involved in this process, and a successful
strategy was developed. Also during this period, HUD OIG was able to complete
the staffing of our new information technology organization.
The new approach added additional time for testing and communication
with our employees. HUD OIG staff had a natural skepticism as you would
expect from auditors and investigators about the prospects for a successful
implementation of a new system featuring radical new auditing/investigative
software. Essential for us was making sure that everything worked the first
time and that we had built confidence internally.
DynCorp has been a dynamic and creative partner in this process, and
together, we are listening to our users' needs and developing solutions.
As proof of our success, just this month, DynCorp has begun to roll
out seat management. Implementation is complete for the entire district
of New York and New Jersey one of our largest with little disruption
of daily activities and a seamless changeover to the new system.
The HUD OIG would welcome the opportunity to lay out the true dimension
of this undertaking and write more completely about our experiences. I think
it would be instructive to federal managers.
Director, OIG Information Systems
Office of the Inspector General
Department of Housing and Urban Development