Letters to the editor
Portal Development Can Help
An article in your online March Government E-Business issue, "E-gov
misses local connection," makes the very point that portal development
the heart of e-government was intended to solve.
It is true that many local governments cannot afford to create a robust
set of services themselves. However, look at the basic services that many
provide. You will find that they represent regional, state and federal programs
that are common to a wider universe. The portal concept should be able to
take those kinds of services and have them developed at once for use by
a wider group.
Years ago, we developed Alex, the employment computing kiosk, using that
very principle. The New York Department of Labor did an excellent job of
creating the applications, and the rest of the states linked to it, supported
it with small pockets of funding and made it successful. Why not do that
with myriad other programs?
A number of regional or.gani.zations out there take the government's
money to provide services, so why not include this type of development among
those services? Develop regional portals for common services and let the
data be routed to the states, counties and local administrations where it
Perhaps then everyone could afford to enhance their offerings instead
of wringing their hands that the task is impossible in times of reduced
Tieso & Associates Inc.
Stand Behind NMCI Statements
Lt. Col. Mark Dalla Betta certainly doesn't need my help making a point,
but it would appear that the writer of the March 15 letter in response
to the colonel's March 4 letter has missed the bus.
Whether the Navy Marine Corps Intranet is a good idea and a great deal
for the Marine Corps or the Navy is not the point. The point is this: If
you've got something to say, stand up, identify yourself and say it.
If NMCI is or will be as bad for the naval serv.ice as all of these
anonymous letter-writers seem to believe, then they should demonstrate
a little fortitude and step forward with identified problems, data to support
their claims and perhaps a few proposed solutions.
If I read these writers correctly, a great evil is being inflicted on
our beloved Marine Corps and Navy and the best they can muster is a little
anonymous whining and moaning from some dark corner of the room. How about
a little moral courage?
I don't know if the writers were military or civilian because they didn't
identify themselves. Regardless, be a leader, have the courage of your convictions,
and step up with your concerns and make them known.
If their dire predictions are true and NMCI turns out to be an unmitigated
disaster, it will be no credit to the masked whiners of cyberspace. Being
right means nothing if you won't risk being wrong.
Capt. Ed Taylor
Marine Corps Combat Development Command
Travel Card Complaints
This letter was written to Bureaucratus columnist Milt Zall.
Dear Mr. Zall,
I am a federal employee and would like to know to whom I can complain
about my treatment as a customer using the Bank of America Government Travel
I need to communicate with those at the highest level who contract these
services out. I traveled on temporary duty during February. A statement
was received at my address during the month of February, but I was on temporary
duty and naturally did not receive the statement.
I am being told by Bank of America Corp. that it does not matter that
I was on temporary duty during February they expect me to pay a bill that
I was not home to receive. I asked them to check their records, informed
them that I was an honest customer and reminded them that they have never
had any problem with my account in the past. Their answer? They put me on
a 30-day delinquent list.
I called the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's Indianapolis office
to check on my travel voucher and was told that they could not electronically
pay my credit card bill. Apparently, they do not share information with
the DFAS office that normally handles my travel vouchers.
Bank of America should waive fees from automated teller machine usage
on federal installations. They should not charge 2 percent on cash advances
for travel. In the good old days, when I got travel advances at the installation
finance office, I was not charged a fee. Oh, the price of progress.
I am told at this installation that there is nothing they or I can do
to voice my displeasure as a customer. Yet, the government requires me to
use this card when I travel. I feel that I could get better service elsewhere.
Senior telecommunications specialist
Fort Gordon, Ga.