Let them telecommute!

Security experts are buzzing about how to guard lawmakers after a small plane recently entered restricted air space over Washington, D.C., and forced an evacuation on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

"Let them telecommute!" said Ross Stapleton-Gray, a former CIA intelligence analyst. He is the founder of Stapleton-Gray & Associates, an information technology consulting firm that specializes in security, privacy and surveillance.

"Yes, it's important for the legislative deliberative process to have members be able to discuss and debate," he said, "but we know that an enormous amount of that occurs through staffs and via phone, e-mail, BlackBerry and drinks at Old Ebbitt Grill, etc."

He said the government should downsize its Hill presence and let lawmakers work from their state district offices.

Feeling toothy

Unisys executives were once the folks with the gold lapel pins in the shape of a gold tooth or a three-legged stool. Each leg of the stool represented then-chief executive officer Larry Weinbach's mantra of "customers, employees and reputation."

No more, it seems. Since Weinbach stepped down as CEO earlier this year — even though he remains chairman of the board — lapel pin usage has dropped precipitously, some Unisys insiders say.

The pins were the butt of in-house jokes, and some women executives especially disliked them. They complained that incorporating a lapel pin into their wardrobes was more challenging than for their male counterparts.

New immigrants

New immigrants now have online access to a federal government guide in Chinese and Vietnamese. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Office of Citizenship developed the publication, which contains practical information to help new immigrants settle into everyday life in this country. It also provides basic civics information.

Some folks who are already citizens could probably benefit by reviewing that information, too.

And the winners are ...

No, we're not talking about the new American Idol.

Eight winners of the American Council for Technology's Intergovernmental Solutions Awards were announced at last week's annual Management of Change conference.

Four federal programs and four state and local programs were selected as winners for demonstrating collaboration and the innovative use of technology.

The federal winners are:

  • The Defense Manpower Data Center's Defense Biometric Identification System.
  • The Office of Personnel Management's e-Training initiative.
  • OPM's Recruitment One-Stop/USAJobs initiative.
  • The National Virtual Pointer System, a multiagency effort that links High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Systems, Missouri Statewide Police Intelligence Network, National Drug Pointer Index, National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and Regional Information Sharing Systems.
  • The state and local winners are:

  • Arlington County, Va., Mobile Data Communication system.
  • Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency's Pennsylvania Emergency Incident Reporting System.
  • Oregon Employment Department's iMatch Skills, an online job-matching system.
  • The Michigan Department of IT's Public Safety Communications System.
  • The council also awarded John Gilligan, the outgoing Air Force chief information officer, the 2005 John J. Franke Award.

    The award is given each year in memory of Franke, who was assistant secretary for administration in the Agriculture Department under President Reagan and later appointed director of the Federal Quality Institute by President George H.W. Bush.


    We're hearing buzz.

  • What former federal IT czar has already moved back to Washington, D.C., to work with KPMG's soon-to-be-launched federal sector?
  • What CIO of a Cabinet-level agency has interviewed with the Homeland Security Department to take the CIO job recently vacated by Steve Cooper?
  • And what DHS CIO type might soon be moving to the State Department to put on the CIO hat over there?
  • We'll tell you everything we know as soon as we can.

    Have a tip? Let us know at [email protected].

    Read it in the blogs

    Federal Computer Week launched Web logs, or blogs, this month. Here are some of the items you can find — and comment on — in's blogs at

    The FCW Insider

  • Full disclosure: How much do you really need and want to know?
  • Homeland Security Department technology gets Post'ed.
  • Washington Post-DHS: A look behind the scenes.
  • How a tomato gets on FCW's cover.
  • Newsroom transparency.
  • Culture & Context

  • Documenting new words.
  • Grand challenges.
  • Defining privacy.
  • The New Rad Lab.
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