The Circuit

As DOI Turns

Serving as the Interior Department's chief information officer is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Daryl White is no longer that somebody.

In a move that went unannounced, White became special assistant for technology at the Bureau of Reclamation June 10. He is working on issues related to law enforcement and security.

As of July 8, however, Interior's Web site still listed him as the departmentwide CIO, complete with a picture and biography.

But Hord Tipton is now acting in his stead. Tipton previously was CIO at the Bureau of Land Management.

White was appointed Interior's CIO in March 1998. During his tenure, the department's information technology systems came under fire.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Interior to disconnect from the Internet in December to protect data maintained under its Trust Asset and Accounting Management System (TAAMS).

White testified Jan. 10 that his office strictly had an advisory and policy function and oversaw hundreds of department systems in addition to TAAMS, which collects and maintains data on the 54 million acres of American Indian land.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the Interior saga.

Help Wanted

If it isn't already in the mail, you have until Thursday to submit your resume for the job of CIO at the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

"Applications must be complete and postmarked by July 18," an INS online ad says. You can also apply online by e-mailing your application to pamela.j. horvath@usdoj.gov.

The job pays up to $138,200, and you'll be responsible for "the overall planning, development, coordination and evaluation of the information resources" at INS.

It's likely to be a tough job. INS is in the midst of a reorganization that will probably split it into two agencies — one to enforce immigration laws and tighten security at the nation's borders, and the other to handle such chores as issuing green cards and changing visitors' visa status.

Critics in Congress have labeled INS "the most dysfunctional agency in the federal government," and the agency's computer problems are legendary.

So, is the job attracting any interest? "Oh God, yes," an INS official said. "We've had over 500 hits on the Web," and other applications are coming through the mail and through a search firm the agency hired.

INS Commissioner James Ziglar first mentioned the job last November when the Justice Department announced plans to overhaul the immigration agency, but in INS fashion, it took until spring to get the position formally approved.

FBI Taps CIO

The FBI hired the information and communications chief of the Mormon Church to be its new CIO.

Darwin John replaces Bob Dies as CIO as the FBI struggles to modernize its computer systems. The bureau is hoping to provide its agents with desktop computers and information technology capabilities common in most offices, such as access to the Internet and internal networks, e-mail, and the ability to work with electronic files and retrieve information from bureau databases.

The FBI still keeps most of its records on paper scattered among offices across the country.

In an announcement posted on its Web site, the bureau said John helped the Mormon Church set up the FamilySearch Web site (www.familysearch.org), which receives up to 8 million hits a day for information from a database of 900 million names. The Mormon Church, known formally as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a major source for genealogical information.

As the bureau's CIO, John's job is to "lead the development of information technology strategies," according to the FBI. Among the bureau's top IT endeavors are the Trilogy project to upgrade desktop computers and networks, an effort to adopt "investigative data warehousing" as a key technology in the war against terrorism and improving the FBI's ability to battle cybercrime.

Standing By

The Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard stand ready to join a Homeland Security Department, according to top agency officials.

President Bush proposed the Cabinet-level department last month.

"The Coast Guard is well positioned to move into the new department and respond to the nation's future maritime needs," Commandant Adm. Thomas Collins said in testimony at a July 9 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee's Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Collins and John Magaw, the Transportation undersecretary for security, voiced support for President Bush's plan but stressed the need to transfer their entire agencies.

Magaw highlighted potential benefits. TSA, he said, would "be better able to support standardized practices and reporting requirements and integrated information technology systems" among other national security needs.

Robert Bonner, Customs Service commissioner, and Brian Stafford, director of the Secret Service, also spoke in favor of the proposal.

Got a tip? Send it to circuit@fcw.com.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.