Letter to the editor

Hello? Seventy thousand employees are doing payroll by hand and the public is cut off from the Old Faithful Webcam because the Department of the Interior's information resources management folks can't effectively isolate a database? ["Searching for accountability," Federal Computer Week, Jan. 21, 2002.]

At the risk of oversimplifying, this ain't rocket science! If the partial failure of a single "component system" leads to the scrubbing of an entire department's e-government infrastructure, we'll never see the successful launch of an integrated "e-future."

Even NASA shuttle flights orbit with more tolerance for "oops" than the crew of Daryl White, the Interior chief information officer.

Fifty days (and counting) is a long time to have business-critical information systems and data down. How clueless do all federal information systems folks look as the media move this story toward Page 1?

Here's hoping Interior pulls the strings between the cans tighter — soon.

Woody Hesselbarth
Fort Collins Interagency Dispatch Center

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