Intercepts

Playing Nice...

The Interceptor has picked up weak signals emanating from CIA headquarters that indicate Joan Demp.sey, deputy director of central intelligence for community management, wants all the intelligence agencies to play nice and share information.

Dempsey reportedly signed a recent memo directing the agencies to rapidly field collaboration software that would help them share information and coordinate activities online. Collaboration tools are a hot new trend, but many fossilized intell types cling to the Cold War habit of hoarding information, because they believe information equals power. Don't they know that in the 21st century, information is only powerful when shared?

...And Not So Nice

The Army reportedly is seeking vendors to add videoconferencing capabilities, among other things, to the U.S. Global Command and Control System (GCCS) and GCCS-Korea. The effort is worth an estimated $100 million. But one peeved vendor says Army officials are not looking very hard.

The competition is being conducted under the General Services Administration's Applications "N' Support for Widely Diverse End-user Requirements (Answer) contract, but the incumbent vendors — Computer Sciences Corp., Logicon Corp., ICT and Getronics — have reportedly teamed up and are favored by Army officials running the program. Most other vendors have dropped out.

"The government should have just extended the contracts of the existing vendors if all they wanted was a consolidation effort of the same contractors," the vendor said. But representatives for at least two companies say their decisions not to participate were based solely on a business analysis. In other words, it just wasn't worth it.

Spice It Up

John Stenbit, the Bush administration's choice to be Pentagon chief information officer, avoided controversy during his July 27 nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Stenbit's stock answer to nearly every question was — and I'm paraphrasing very liberally here — I don't know yet, but I'll study it, and because a senator asked, it's at the very top of my to-do list.

Here are highlights of the otherwise bland hearing: Stenbit promised to study whether the jobs of CIO and assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communication and intelligence should be filled by the same person, as they are now. He said Gatling guns might be a good self-defense system for satellites, an idea the National Rifle Association will likely adopt for private citizens. He also framed the debate over whether the Pentagon should give up bandwidth to commercial interests by saying winning wars is a bit more important than higher profits. That, at least, was well said.

Well Grounded

It may be a period of doubt and confusion for government workers who have just been outsourced for Groundbreaker, but one thing's certain: They'll get nice new digs. Having just won the multibillion-dollar Groundbreaker contract for the National Security Agency, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., Computer Sciences Corp. is preparing to break ground for a building to support the program. CSC wanted to expand into Maryland anyway and will erect a 150,000-square-foot building to house about 650 people.

NMCI Critics MIA

The Interceptor can think of only three reasons Navy Marine Corps Intranet critics are no longer calling, faxing or e-mailing complaints about the $6.9 billion program: the Navy and vendor Electronic Data Systems Corp. are doing a great job; there's been a crackdown on leaks to the press; or the Navy is conspiring with aliens to have critics replaced with peace-loving pod people. Tell the Interceptor your thoughts.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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