Better-business tech projects OK'd

List of DOD Business Initiative Council-approved projects

The Defense Department's effort to buy enterprisewide software licenses is one of several initiatives that received high-level approval from a new council working to improve DOD business operations.

The initiatives were given the green light by the DOD Business Initiative Council, a group formed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in July to help modernize and improve business practices. The council — headed by Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics — is part of Rumsfeld's battle against bureaucracy.

The Defense Department's Enterprise Software Initiative seeks to streamline the acquisition process by providing best-priced software that meets DOD standards. The project requires $515,000 in fiscal 2002.

The ESI was among 10 projects approved by the Business Initiative Council, several of which featured technology. Among the others:

* Common range scheduling tool: A Web-based scheduling tool that will help improve coordination of testing schedules across multiple sites.

* Web-based invoice/receipt processing: A system that seeks to reduce the incurrence of incorrectly prepared or missing receiving reports and move toward a paperless process using an existing automated system so that the Defense Financial Accounting System can pay vendors faster and more accurately.

* Common flight clearance process: A system that would create a common flight clearance process by incorporating IT to reduce clearance turnaround time.

* Cell phone pooling: Negotiate new local or regional cell phone contracts to consolidate cell phone users into appropriate pools to reduce cell phone costs.

Overall, the project could result in $200 million in savings, DOD officials said.

The criteria for selecting the projects was simple, Aldridge said. "Before it can win adoption by the [Business Initiative Council], each proposal must show benefit for our warfighters, provide common good across DOD and provide identifiable savings," he said.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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