Move over, Jim Flyzik
If George W. Bush is elected president, our sources tell us that Texas
chief information officer Carolyn Purcell is on the short list to become
the first federal CIO. She currently is the executive director of the Texas
Department of Information Resources and has more than 25 years of experience
in information resources in government, manufacturing and health care. She
is the former president of the Texas Association of State Systems for Computing
and Communications and past president of the National Association of State
Information Resource Executives. Reaction was lukewarm from the Democratic
"What I would aim for is someone who has a national reputation, someone
more lofty," said one high-level Democrat involved in government IT. His
suggestion? GOP stalwart James Barksdale, founder of Netscape Communications
Rules or Consequences
Taking a hard line on network security, the Defense Department has gone
so far as to cut off bases from the department's secure intranet when they
do not conform to policy, officials said this month at the National Information
Systems Security Conference in Baltimore. DOD has been working for three
years to implement its Secret and Below Interoperability initiative, which
governs the flow of information between the department's classified and
sensitive-but- unclassified networks.
Led by the National Security Agency, the department has been going through
each command to ensure that there is a minimum of connections between the
two networks. Commanders often have not realized the connection exists,
but at other times NSA and the Defense Information Systems Agency have had
to explain "the error of their ways," said Warner Brake, deputy chief of
the Information Assurance Implementation Branch at the Defense Information
Systems Agency. This has even meant disconnecting a base from the Secret
Internet Protocol Router Network until it met DOD's security requirements.
The disconnect doesn't last long, however, because commanders usually come
to see the light fairly quickly, Brake said.
Debugging the Bugs
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board said it is making progress
on its new recordkeeping system that has been delayed by software problems.
The Thrift Savings Plan recordkeeping system will offer federal employees
new retirement features, including two new investment funds.
Vendor American Management Systems Inc. said that as of Oct. 18, the
percentage of tests producing successful results had increased to 51 percent.
This is up from 26 percent reported in mid- September. More than 7,300 software
bugs have been found in the system test to date, with more than 1,500 of
these yet to be resolved. The board expects to roll out the system next
The Littlest CIO
K. Adair Martinez, CIO at the Veterans Benefits Administration, reports
that after sev- eral months of "pre- production," Katherine Christine Dorothy
Herbert decided to "roll out" and join her mother and father on Oct. 19.
K.C. weighed in at 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 21.5 inches long. As the proud
new mom put it, "Thank you all for your interest, concern and support during
this "applications development.' "
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