OMB seeks budget system upgrade

The Office of Management and Budget is asking industry for proposals on how to improve the systems that handle the federal government's budget process.

The June 18 request for proposals calls for a small business to maintain the existing applications and systems while upgrading the systems. OMB is seeking responses by Aug. 1.

The agency wants to improve the MAX A-11 Data Entry System, which handles all the information under Circular A-11 that is passed between OMB and the agencies during the formulation of the president's annual budget request to Congress. Plans include securing the transmission of the data on the network and extending the system to collect data from the agencies.

Interior's financial data seen at risk

Weaknesses in information systems control at the Interior Department's financial systems center are putting the privacy of data and workers at risk, according to a General Accounting Office report.

Interior's National Business Center does not adequately limit access granted to authorized users, maintain software controls or secure access to its network, GAO found. The Denver-based service center operates administrative and financial systems for Interior and more than 30 other federal organizations.

Robert Lamb, Interior acting assistant secretary for policy, management and budget, agreed with GAO's assessment in a letter included in the report. Lamb said about half of the improvements recommended by GAO had been made and that all should be complete by Dec. 31.

House queries Transportation's ITOP

The Transportation Department's $10 billion government.wide information technology contract could get a "thorough review" by the department's inspector general under a provision included in the House version of the fiscal 2002 DOT appropriations bill.

The provision questions the necessity of the Information Technology Omnibus Procurement (ITOP) contract. "The [House Appropriations] committee is concerned that this vehicle is so broad and flexible that it could be used by DOT agencies to evade departmental oversight or congressional scrutiny," according to the committee's report.

"Furthermore, it is not clear why DOT agencies...use this type of contract when they have contract professionals in-house who perform similar work," the committee report stated. The provision, which still faces scrutiny when the House and Senate negotiate a final DOT spending bill later this summer, asks the inspector general to conduct a review of ITOP and submit a report by Feb. 15, 2002.


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