This week in FCW history

Seven years ago: Oct. 21, 1996

FAA denies Wilcox protest

In the first major test of its self-styled Acquisition Management System, the Federal Aviation Administration denied a protest filed by Wilcox Electric Inc. against the award of a contract to Hughes Aircraft Co. for development of a satellite navigation system. The protest stemmed from the FAA's decision in April to cancel the almost $500 million Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) contract with Wilcox and award it on a sole-source basis to Hughes.

FAA officials at the time cited cost overruns and delays as reasons for the change, but getting a new contractor didn't stop problems. The system has been delayed several times, and the original total estimated cost of less than $1 billion over the years ballooned to more than $3 billion, although the value of the prime contract remained the same. The FAA in July 2003 finally commissioned the system for instrument flight use.

Six years ago: Oct. 20, 1997

EPA awards first pact to upgrade systems

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a five-year $259 million contract for telecommunications and computer support to Lockheed Martin Information Support Services, the first of five contracts to maintain and upgrade the agency's computing infrastructure and software.

Four years ago: Oct. 26, 1999

Commerce's CIO calls for federal IT czar

The Commerce Department's chief information officer called for the creation of a federal chief information officer position to oversee, manage and provide a common vision for information technology programs governmentwide. Speaking before a large group of industry representatives attending the 1999 Fall Procurement Conference sponsored by the Coalition for Government Procurement, Roger Baker said the government needs a central manager who can offer federal agencies a common vision of IT for government.

Three years ago: Oct. 26, 2000

House passes update to infosec bill

The House passed a bill Tuesday night to update a 13-year-old law regulating federal information security requirements. The Computer Security Enhancement Act of 1999, sponsored by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), amended the roles, responsibilities and authority of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to oversee federal agencies' information security practices and technology.

Two years ago: Oct. 25, 2001

E-gov initiatives released

The Office of Management and Budget released the list of cross-agency e-government initiatives aimed at transforming the federal government by basing services on specific customer segments. An interagency e-government task force, under the leadership of Mark Forman, OMB's associate director for information technology and e-government, chose the 23 initiatives because they have the potential to improve service at multiple agencies and to significantly impact one of the customer-centric segments outlined in the president's management agenda. The list has since taken on one more program, bringing the total number of e-government initiatives to two dozen.

One year ago: Oct. 23, 2002

Bush signs DOD appropriations bill

President Bush signed a $355 billion Defense appropriations bill into law, a year-over-year increase of more than $37 billion that included funding for information technology-intensive systems and research and development.


  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

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