This week in FCW history

Seven years ago: Oct. 7, 1996

IRS kills $1.3 billion DPS program

Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department officials canceled a proposed $1.3 billion Document Processing System, citing cost concerns. An analysis of more than two-dozen modernization programs published earlier in the year ranked the system near the bottom in terms of the return the IRS expected to get from its investment. Although the system was canceled, the technology developed by contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. eventually was used in other projects, such as a $49 million imaging system for the Census Bureau.

Six years ago: Oct. 6, 1997

Group drafts smart card plan

An interagency task force working on a federal policy for smart cards published a draft plan to deploy the cards governmentwide during the next four years. The Electronic Processes Initiatives Committee, part of the President's Management Council of senior federal government executives, suggested providing federal employees with "smart" identification cards that employees would use for multiple purposes. So far, no governmentwide smart card has been implemented.

Five years ago: Oct. 5, 1998

FAA plans $1B comm upgrade

The Federal Aviation Administration detailed plans to alleviate congestion of the airwaves that link pilots and air traffic controllers by undertaking a $1 billion upgrade of the agency's air and ground communications systems. The Nexcom program to replace analog equipment with digital technology eventually resulted in, among other things to date, a $580 million deal for digital radios from ITT Industries; and $20 million for Harris Corp. and $16 million for ITT to develop architecture, equipment specifications and supporting technical documents for Nexcom.

Four years ago: Oct. 8, 1999

GAO issues Y2K planning guide

The General Accounting Office released a planning and operations guide for federal agencies to use in the critical days surrounding the Year 2000 rollover.

Three years ago: Oct. 6, 2000

DOD acquisition reform chief departs

Stan Soloway, the man who headed the Defense Department's acquisition reform initiatives for two years, announced he would leave government to lead the Professional Services Council trade association. Soloway had been deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition reform since 1998. He remains PSC president.

Two years ago: Oct. 8, 2001

Ridge becomes Homeland Security boss

President Bush signed an executive order making former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge the new assistant to the president for homeland security and director of the new Office of Homeland Security, which was established in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Ridge later became the first secretary of the Homeland Security Department.

One year ago: Oct. 10, 2002

FAA launches Free Flight tool

The world's first Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications went operational at the Federal Aviation Administration's Miami en route center Oct. 7. It replaced the current system of two-way voice radio with faster, more reliable text messaging for nonurgent exchanges.


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