Schmidt Going to Private Sector
Cybersecurity's revolving door continues to turn. Top White House cybersecurity adviser Howard Schmidt said he is leaving the Bush administration for the private sector as of May 1.
Schmidt served as the vice chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board until the administration dissolved it last month. In an e-mail message last week, he announced that although many of the board's responsibilities are being transferred to the Homeland Security Department (DHS), he is retiring from public service.
"This has been no more than a two- or three-year assignment for me at most," Schmidt said in an interview with Federal Computer Week. "It's been a great opportunity to champion this topic that some of us have been working on for years."
Schmidt said he is meeting with Robert Liscouski, assistant secretary of infrastructure protection at DHS and a longtime colleague, to work on a smooth transfer of all the work the board has been doing. Schmidt said he will continue to work to implement the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, which he helped craft.
SBA in CIO Search
The Small Business Administration is renewing its search for a new chief information officer to replace retiring Lawrence Barrett. Although Rose Parkes, CIO at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is now part of DHS, had been considered for the job, SBA has decided to "open it to full competition and recategorize it" as a political job, according to government sources.
That seems to be the trend with the Bush administration — moving away from career professionals and finding political ones to replace them.
After the Coalition for Government Procurement and the Information Technology Association of America filed comments earlier this month objecting to a proposed rule that would lead to fewer bundled contracts, small businesses spoke up to disagree.
Officials from trade groups argued that bundled contracts are more efficient for agencies, but those at small companies say the result is that small players get cut out of federal work.
"It's just not a functional arrangement," said Hallie Lemont Shilling, chief executive officer of Windwalker Corp. "Prime contractors very commonly don't give work to small business or minority-owned firms. They're required to include them in bids, but they don't have to actually give work to them. The government doesn't track whether work goes to subcontractors."
"There's some efficiency to doing this, and I know the government has to work toward that goal, but there has to be some balance so that small business has some opportunity," said Diane Bloodworth, founder of Bloodworth Integrated Technology Inc. and chairwoman of the Industry Advisory Council's small-business shared interest group.
What's in a Name?
The new computer system that the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service is developing is due for a name change. FTS Commissioner Sandra Bates said that GSA Administrator Stephen Perry inspired the change.
"We're having a contest internally to rename it," she told a Federal Sources Inc. breakfast audience last week. "The administrator didn't like the name."
FTS has dubbed the system 3GS, short for Third Generation System. Bates had no early word on any new appellation, but we guess Hal is already taken.
All in the Family
The Terrorist Threat Integration Center is going online this week, but those in charge of the data repository are still trying to determine who will run the show. While the buck ultimately stops with CIA Director George Tenet, the agency has told the FBI that it will need a significant bit of help in establishing the center.
Interestingly, when CIA officials asked FBI officials who their point person would be, "they sent us back a name...of a CIA officer who is on rotation to the FBI," said Bobby Brady, the CIA's deputy CIO.
And who said they couldn't get along?
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