This week in FCW history

Seven years ago: Nov. 4, 1996

NIMA launches $600 million digital mapping project

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency kicked off the development of a $600 million, eight-year effort to build a digital mapping infrastructure to provide mapping capabilities to the Defense Department and civilian agencies. NIMA, formerly the Defense Mapping Agency, met with about 200 vendors and geospatial processing experts to introduce the concept and process of its Geospatial Information Infrastructure project.

Six years ago: Nov. 3, 1997

Ruling sends agencies scrambling

A federal court ruling that blocks agencies from deleting important e-mail messages and word processing files had government agencies hustling for ways to preserve their burgeoning digital archives. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled that agencies cannot discard the electronic versions of documents that have historical significance. The ruling voided a 1995 National Archives and Records Administration regulation that let officials substitute paper printouts for their original computer files.

Five years ago: Nov. 2, 1998

NARA floats electronic records plan

According to a new draft policy NARA distributed governmentwide, agencies became responsible for deciding whether to keep their electronic records based on their need for the documents, a policy similar to how agencies now make decisions about retaining or destroying paper files. According to NARA's proposal, agencies' "business needs," including "staff and public reference use," should determine how long agencies keep e-mail, word processing documents and spreadsheet files. The plan, designed to last two years, would temporarily replace General Records Schedule 20, which allowed agencies to delete electronic files after officials printed out paper copies.

Four years ago: Nov. 1, 1999

Federal IT czar position gets boost

A top federal chief information officer called on the government to create a federal IT czar, whose job would be to establish a common vision for IT programs governmentwide. Roger Baker, then the Commerce Department's CIO, said the government needs a central manager who can offer federal agencies a common vision so that agencies' IT projects stay focused on improving the business of government. The idea drew cautious support from other federal CIOs. Eventually, the government created a new Office of Management and Budget position, administrator of the Office of E-Government and Information Technology.

Three years ago: Nov. 6, 2000

NSF invites cybergrants

The National Science Foundation invited colleges to develop grant proposals for a new federal initiative to bring information security professionals into the government. NSF released its solicitation for the Scholarship for Service initiative, one of several security training and education projects under President Clinton's Federal Cyber Services program.

Two years ago: Nov. 8, 2001

FinanceNet closes down

FinanceNet, the government's financial management Web portal, said it would cease operations as part of a reorganization of how the government disseminates financial management information online. The Chief Financial Officers Council made the decision, which resulted from "examining various options for providing access to financial management" information, council officials said in a two-page response to FCW queries.

One year ago: Nov. 4, 2002

NIST issues security certification guidance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released the first phase of a project aimed at enhancing the overall security of federal IT systems. The draft guide established a standard security certification and accreditation process for agencies, which many security experts consider a basic management step and an important initiative.

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