- By Judi Hasson
- Oct 02, 2000
FirstGov, the new federal government Internet portal, may raise the
standards for agency Web sites, according to David Barram, administrator
of the General Services Administration, which oversaw creation of the portal.
The site, which went online Sept. 22, has already had an impact agencies
are more conscious of the appearance and quality of their Web sites, according
to Barram. "It's as if I came down the street and said all of the houses
look good except yours," he said.
Business is Booming
Meanwhile, GSA is getting ready to award an estimated $1 billion services
blanket purchase agreement, according to William Gormley, assistant commissioner
at the Office of Acquisition in GSA's Federal Supply Service. No word yet
on who the customer is.
Other things are brewing at GSA, too, including a plan to require all
GSA contractors to register on GSA Advantage by next July. Contractors should
expect a letter in the next couple of weeks on the specifics. GSA also is
working to add seat management to the schedules and has beefed up its new
Office of Sales by hiring about 12 national account managers to focus on
new sales. Business definitely must be good.
When the world's best athletes gather in Salt Lake City for the Winter
Olympics in 2002, the Justice Department will be flexing some new communications
muscles. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Colgate, the chief information
officer for the Justice Department, said the agency will use the games to
showcase a secure wireless communications network for law enforcement. With
it, all law enforcement agents federal, state and local would be able
to communicate with each other via one system. Justice has already been
field-testing the technology, Colgate said.
The Transportation Department's new Chief Information Officers Council
kicked off last month with a meeting to charter the organization. After
approving the charter, representatives from all DOT operating administrations
established committees to focus on information security architecture across
the agency, capital planning, e-government and defining the roles and responsibilities
of CIOs, said DOT's own CIO, George Molaski. Roll up your sleeves, George,
there is much to be done.
Clearing the Air
Contractors and Federal Aviation Administration information security
workers weren't the only ones scrutinized by members of the House Science
Committee during a hearing Sept. 27 on computer security controls at the
FAA. Agency Administrator Jane Garvey found herself under the micro-scope,
too. She had to defend her own security clearance after the committee chairman,
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), noted that Garvey's security clearance
was updated just prior to the hearing even though it had expired in 1998.
Not so, said an FAA spokesman. There is no problem with Garvey's security
clearance, and it has never lapsed. The spokesman blamed a communications
snafu between the FAA and the General Accounting Office. Wireless desperately
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