The EMall Vision

The Defense Logistics Agency has created an electronic business vision that, among other things, will end the great debate of the Pentagon's electronic mall, according to Joanne Arnette, who serves as the agency's chief information officer. The DLA vision for conducting e-business is based on interviews with agency customers, the joint staff in the Pentagon, the individual military services and others. Elements of the vision will be incorporated into a strategic plan sent to the Pentagon CIO later this spring.

"Instead of a single, monolithic EMall, you're going to see an evolution to a system of systems, under [Joint Electronic Commerce Program Office] management, that allows both single entrance and multiple access — single entrance at the highest level for those who have no current relationship with [DOD] and specialized entry for existing customers," said Arnette, who plans to retire in May. She spoke at the recent Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association conference titled "Defense e4cast to Industry and Government."

"It will start with the URL cross-linking and will be enhanced into an overarching umbrella with the appli-ca-tions to provide [Defense-wide] visibility." Now if DOD could just give the kids someplace else to hang out.

DFAS Guinea Pigs

Talk about leadership by example. Officials at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service have decided they will be the first to use the Defense Procurement Payment System (DPPS), which is expected to be deployed later this year, according to Audrey Davis, DFAS CIO. The system is intended to become the standard DOD system for calculating contract and vendor payments, grants and other agreement entitlements. All DOD contract and vendor payment legacy systems will be consolidated into DPPS.

"We're going to practice on ourselves," Davis said. "We're intending to deploy that later this year only on DFAS systems so that we can work out the kinks before we deploy it to the rest of the department."

We suspect the rest of the military is probably grateful that DFAS workers are willing to play guinea pigs.

NMCI: The Good News

For all those Navy Marine Corps Intranet supporters convinced that the Intercepts column is a vast — OK, one-man — conspiracy against the proj-ect, here's a good-news item.

Things apparently went well March 23 at the first official program review meeting. Afterward, Lt. Gen. Harry Rad-uege, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, said the Navy is doing a good job with NMCI. In accordance with an agreement with the Navy hammered out last August, DISA gets first shot at meeting NMCI's networking needs. If the agency is not successful, the Navy can look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, it's not Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s fault that the Navy's research and development community must wait to get the full NMCI treatment. Both the Navy and EDS officials are aware of the complex issues involved and are working to resolve them, but the service has yet to send EDS a requirement. So there.

Password Plus

You know DOD's propensity for passwords is out of control when security professionals there con-fess publicly to having to write down their passwords. Assorted officials speaking at a recent conference complained of the many passwords they have to keep up with — at least 18 for one official. Richard Hale, chief engineering executive for information assurance at DISA, confessed that he keeps his passwords in a notebook. To which another member of the Biometrics and Application in Information Technology panel responded, "Why don't you just keep them in your wallet like the rest of us?"

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