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.




  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

  • Comment
    Blue Signage and logo of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Doing digital differently at VA

    The Department of Veterans Affairs CIO explains why digital transformation is not optional.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.