This week in FCW history

Seven years ago: FCW, Sept. 2, 1996

Hughes wins $171 million patent office contract
The Patent and Trademark Office awarded Hughes Data Systems a $171 million contract to provide 120 MHz and 133 MHz Pentium-based PCs manufactured by Micron Electronics Inc. The company also supplied printers, bar code readers and associated peripherals. PTO had the option to upgrade the PCs to then-speedy 200 MHz machines.

Six years ago: FCW, Sept. 1, 1997

HCFA cancels pact; rethinks MTS program
After spending $43 million over the past three years to design a new system to process medical bills for the Medicare program, the Health Care Financing Administration suspended a prime contracting arrangement with GTE Government Systems Corp. and acknowledged it is not sure how to proceed with the troubled program.

Five years ago: FCW, Sept. 7, 1998

White House: Y2K needs $3B+
The Clinton administration sent Congress a request for $3.25 billion in emergency funding for agencies to fix their computers before the millennium.

Four years ago: FCW, Sept. 6, 1999

CIO Council adopts rules to fight software piracy
The CIO Council adopted a set of guidelines intended to help agencies prevent employees and private government contractors from illegally pirating computer software. The governmentwide policy, approved by a near-unanimous vote, gave federal chief information officers the responsibility of organizing efforts to block software piracy within their agencies.

Three years ago: FCW, Sept. 4, 2000

Postal Service adds Internet route
The U.S. Postal Service launched an online mailing program designed to make mailing easier and more convenient, especially for those running small businesses or home offices. Under the Postal Service's NetPost Mailing Online program, customers send electronic documents such as letters and brochures along with a list of addresses to the agency's Web site. The Postal Service securely transmits the documents and addresses via dedicated lines to a commercial printer, who prints them out, addresses, stuffs and sorts the envelopes and deposits them in the mail.

Two years ago: FCW, Sept. 5, 2001

Horn retiring
Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.), a retired university professor who became famous for using report cards to assess agency performance, said he would retire at the end of the current term of Congress. Horn, who has issued report cards on issues ranging from Year 2000 fixes to computer security to financial management, was one of the most knowledgeable lawmakers on government technology issues.

One year ago: FCW, Sept. 6, 2002

DOD launches comm office
Air Force Undersecretary Peter Teets this week announced the launch of a new Defense Department office charged with ensuring that DOD, the intelligence community and NASA have a compatible communications infrastructure.


  • innovation (Sergey Nivens/

    VA embraces procurement challenges at scale

    Steve Kelman applauds the Department of Veterans Affairs' ambitious attempt to move beyond one-off prize-based contests to combat veteran suicides more effectively.

  • big data AI health data

    Where did the ideas for shutdowns and social distancing come from?

    Steve Kelman offers another story about hero civil servants (and a good president).

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