- By Judi Hasson
- Sep 03, 2001
You Got It, Brother
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) recently visited Commerce One Inc.'s e-government
solutions division in Laurel, Md., part of his district. After a brief presentation
on the company's various e-government initiatives, Hoyer saw a demonstration
of NASA's Image.2000 project. The program, designed to provide a host-independent
image- processing system for students and educators, was recently approved
for grades six and above. Hoyer said the company might be missing the best
"My suggestion would be for grades six and below because they understand
it a lot better," Hoyer said, adding that age and understanding often have
an "inverse relationship" when it comes to technology. When a Commerce One
employee dubbed that idea the "Nintendo mentality," the 62-year-old lawmaker
showed he's still with it. "You got it, brother," he replied.
When the White House's government management reform agenda was released
last month, much was made about how the Office of Management and Budget
would be evaluating agencies' progress on the initiatives chosen by President
Bush. But participants in the briefing wanted to know this: Who would be
evaluating OMB's work?
Deputy Director Sean O'Keefe quickly said that OMB would apply the same
standards to itself, but then admitted that at least part of the power would
rest with agencies. Apparently, OMB seeks input on the data requirements
and reporting mandates involved in OMB's circulars and bulletins that are
"time consuming and irrelevant," he said. And O'Keefe said the agency will
start with the assumption that if a regulation has not been updated in the
last three or four years, it will likely be dropped.
The Odd Couple
House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) has been denouncing the use
of red-light cameras a high-tech tool law enforcement officials have grown
to love. That puts the conservative Armey in agreement with the liberal
American Civil Liberties Union, which recently called for a halt to the
use of such cameras.
Huh? Armey spokesman Rich.ard Diamond noted in an e-mail message, "This
is the second time we've found ourselves in full agreement with the ACLU
and that's saying something." The first time was over the Tampa, Fla.,
police department's use of crowd-scanning facial recognition cameras at
this year's Super Bowl. What's next?
Whom Can You Trust?
The State Department's NetDiplomacy 2001 takes place this week to examine
the role the Internet can play in furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives.
But although the topic involves the Internet, we note with great irony the
following statement on the conference Web site: "As part of recent modifications
to our network, the registration site is temporarily being hosted external
to the State Department network. As this is a secure site, your browser
may present you with a dialog box telling you that the "certificate is from
a site you have decided not to trust.' Please accept the certificate and
continue with the registration process."
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