Week in Review

2006: Auld Lang Syne

As we begin to look ahead to the new year, we are struck by how busy 2006 has been. Some stories built on developments from past years, but a few of them deserve particular attention.
  • Security: Yes, there were Federal Information Security Management Act compliance issues and the rush to meet Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12, but what really forced information technology executives to focus on security was the theft of a laptop PC from a house in suburban Washington, D.C. Unfortunately that laptop, property of the Department of Veterans Affairs, contained personal data on millions of veterans. The story made headlines nationwide and drove the security issue.
  • GSA: It has been a roller-coaster year for the General Services Administration. The arrival of a new administrator, Lurita Doan, thrust the agency into the middle of a debate on scores of issues.

    Jim Williams returned, the agency reorganized, and an internal battle with the inspector general¹s office broke out.
  • Congress: The midterm elections took place in November, but the effect will be felt for the next two years. We can¹t predict what will happen, but it will be interesting to watch.
Many of the stories that we highlight in this issue will develop further in the next year.

In reviewing 2006, we realized that a year ago, we could never have foreseen many of the issues we have covered.

And as we look back, we also look forward. We will spend our time planning, but new events will overtake many of those plans.

Fun times are ahead, we don¹t doubt.

Have a good holiday. We look forward to an exciting new year.

Breaking news
  • Mike Sade, director of the Commerce Department¹s Office of Acquisition Management and Financial Assistance, is leaving the agency to become associate commissioner for acquisition management at the General Services Administration.
  • Perot Systems Government Services is expected to announce a major acquisition Monday of a privately held company that holds several large military contracts.

Other noteworthy news

"We're encrypting everything in sight," said Bob Howard, the Department of Veterans Affairs' chief information officer, describing the VA's efforts to improve data security.... Congress passed a pandemic flu bill that puts the Department of Health and Human Services in charge of the federal medical response to bioterrorism attacks or disease outbreaks and removes the Homeland Security Department from any lead role.... Getting senior executives to pay attention to the problem of safeguarding personal information is 80 percent of the solution, said Lisa Schlosser, CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.... The Army will field its Land Warrior system in Iraq next summer, despite funding uncertainties.... The Northern Command has adopted the phrase collaboration and communication as a substitute for classic military command and control.... The General Services Administration and its biggest customer, the Defense Department, signed a memorandum of agreement created to improve business relations between the two agencies.... In one of its final acts, the 109th Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that supporters say will modernize the U.S. Postal Service and improve its financial viability.... The Joint Forces Command is deploying prototypes of a multilevel security environment in Iraq for collaboration with the State Department's Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and the U.S. Agency for International Development.... Virginia's attorney general said he will propose new legislation requiring convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant messaging screen names with the state's sex offender registry.... The majority of emergency responders have equipment that enables them to communicate with one another, according to a DHS survey of first responders and law enforcement officers.

A roundup of the week's news, complete with links to the original stories, can be found on FCW.com Download's Week in Review.



FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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