The Circuit

CXO Council by Default?

The Treasury Department this month started a new leadership group — its own CXO Council, comprising officials from its technology, finance, procurement, law and human resources arenas. Officials will meet to focus on issues that cross multiple program areas.

But what about a governmentwide focus? Officials keep talking about the need for interagency cooperation, but the discussions among the CIO Council, the Chief Financial Officers Council and the Procurement Executives Council are still pretty informal.

According to Jim Flyzik, Treasury's chief information officer and vice chairman of the CIO Council, the President's Management Council will serve that role. Re-established in June by President Bush, the PMC is made up of the chief operating officers at each agency. That just happens to encompass e-government, financial management, competition on contracts and workforce issues.

To keep everyone involved, officials are now discussing using the governmentwide councils to provide working groups for each of the PMC's focus areas, creating a governmentwide CXO council by default, Flyzik said.

Somehow, "council by default" doesn't sound promising.

Your Passport, Please

The State Department recently dedicated a new passport issuance system called TDIS-Photodigitization, which allows the processing of a high-tech passport. The holder's photo is embedded as a digital image into the passport, making it harder to create a counterfeit one. The system includes other high-tech security features that officials decline to discuss. All this makes the new passports "one of the most secure travel documents produced to date."

For those of us who never liked our passport photos, it hardly matters.

Another One on the Line

The General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service is lining up another program to help agencies manage their telecommunications.

The program, dubbed Connections, is intended to supplement the traditional telecom services available through FTS 2001 and the Metropolitan Area Acquisition programs by offering call-center, help-desk and similar support services. When they raised the curtain on Connections in April, FTS officials described the program as a key component of their Expanded Services program, designed to help agencies package telecom offerings to meet specific business needs or end-user requirements.

The solicitation, which is expected to draw interest from major telecom companies and niche vendors, is due later this month, according to Federal Sources Inc.

Where's Paul?

We finally tracked down Paul Cosgrave, former CIO at the Internal Revenue Service. He's spending time in Europe developing e-business strategies for two international construction firms. Cosgrave heads up eAEC Global, which stands for architecture, engineering and construction.

"We're basically trying to get going in developed countries," said Cosgrave via cell phone from Amsterdam, Netherlands. He plans to have a pilot business-to-business Internet project running by October because "in the Internet world in general, you have to develop projects in less than six months."

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