Virtual IT shop gets DOD support

BIC initiatives

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A plan to create a one-stop virtual shop for information technology hardware, software and selected services is among a group of initiatives that has received senior-level approval from the Defense Department's Business Initiative Council.

The plan to create the virtual IT marketplace is one of 18 initiatives that received the OK from the BIC, which was created last year by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as part of his effort to improve DOD's business operations.

The list is the second group of projects that the council has approved. The first group was released in October 2001 and included support of DOD's effort to buy enterprisewide software licenses.

The list released this week also includes a program to streamline implementation of the Clinger-Cohen Act by aligning Clinger-Cohen requirements with internal DOD acquisition documents to preclude reinventing the wheel for the sake of documentation.

"We on the BIC are excited to have this tremendous opportunity to transform the way we do business and inculcate the best business practices into the DOD culture," in support of the secretary's so-called battle on bureaucracy campaign, said Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, who leads the council.

The potential efficiency improvements in both rounds of initiatives focused on stringent legislative requirements, cumbersome directives and lengthy staffing processes, which the DOD workforce deals with daily, DOD officials said.

The savings from these projects are still being calculated, DOD officials said. But the Pentagon anticipates that DOD will save more than $100 million dollars per year courtesy of the initiatives.

Furthermore, DOD officials said that the dollar savings were only part of the battle. If fully implemented, the projects would improve customer service and performance, streamline procedures, and increase flexibility.

Most of the projects do not have a specific IT aspect, such as one that calls for making an aggressive effort to close out more than 400 contracts on which work is physically complete but that remain open for final administrative actions.

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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