E-Coast Guard plan readied

The Coast Guard expects to finish the business plan this spring for a major initiative to align information systems across the organization, a senior official said.

The plan will lay out a five-year strategy for e-Coast Guard, an effort to provide adequate connectivity and access to computers and data for the agency's 40,000 employees, who are spread throughout 1,500 units, according to the Coast Guard's chief information officer, Rear Adm. Clifford Pearson.

It will arrive as the Coast Guard continues its transition to the new Homeland Security Department—a move that will not impede the agency's spirit of uniqueness or its work on several projects that are already under way, officials have said.

Those include the massive Deepwater modernization and the development of a maritime 911 system.

E-Coast Guard has the backing of the agency's top official. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas Collins has championed the program whose "end state is improved processes and improved performance; an ability to mitigate against increased workload or actually reduce workload; improved cycle time; and improved management and use of information," he said in an Oct. 2, 2002, note posted on the agency's Web site.

The support not only of senior management, but also of the end users is considered key to making e-Coast Guard a reality, according to Pearson.

The goal is "to be able to achieve full integration of operational and support systems that [assist] end users," he said.

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