The Circuit

Tiemann Heads to AT&T

The government just lost one of its enterprise architecture experts to the private sector. Michael Tiemann, the enterprise architecture guru from the Energy Department, left earlier this month and moved to AT&T. The company is creating a new enterprise architecture solutions group centered on Tiemann, who was also co-chairman of the CIO Council's Federal Architecture and Infrastructure Committee's Federal Enterprise Architecture Working Group.

Tiemann said he wanted to stay in government, but the right opportunity was not available. He was eyeing Robert Haycock's position at the Office of Management and Budget as program manager of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (Haycock is leaving later this month to return to the Interior Department), but Tiemann wanted it to be a permanent, senior executive position — rather than being on detail — and OMB couldn't offer that.

Growing Pains

Speaking of enterprise architecture, OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture has attracted some critics.

Various officials involved in ongoing enterprise architecture work, both with the CIO Council and within their own agencies, are questioning how OMB's still- incomplete vision will work with agencies' existing efforts. A recent suggestion from OMB that the council revise its Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework to reflect OMB's architecture has also caused a stir, which was publicly made apparent by the animated discussion held at an enterprise architecture conference last week. People involved on both sides said the tension will be resolved, but not anytime soon.

NIST Takes on Biometrics

Biometrics hasn't been the easiest or fastest technology for agencies to deploy, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology is making headway. NIST is developing several biometric standards, such as fingerprint and facial-recognition data, for homeland security and general information security purposes, said Benjamin Wu, deputy undersecretary for technology at the Commerce Department. A standard for electronically exchanging fingerprint data among different systems has already gone through the NIST process and has also been approved by the American National Standards Institute. NIST is also developing a way to test the effectiveness of commercial biometric products, based on its new Face Recognition Vendor Test.

NIST also has been evaluating border security biometric products, Wu said at a Senate Judiciary Committee's Technology, Terrorism and Government Information Subcommittee hearing Oct. 9. A report on that work is due later this year.

State's Got CLASS

The State Department is improving its Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), according to Steven Edson, acting deputy assistant secretary at State for visas.

In the past year, State has tied records contained in CLASS to more than 16 million records from the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the intelligence community, Edson said at the Senate subcommittee hearing.

CLASS uses sophisticated search algorithms to match lookout information to individual visa applicants. The more records it can search, the more effective the system is, Edson said.

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