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The issue at hand... FCW's issue anyway...

I have promised to offer up some 'behind the scenes' looks about Federal Computer Week as the issue comes out. For this week's issue, I was most focused on the special package of "comment" pieces about the approaching 10-year anniversary of the Clinger-Cohen Act.

The package has been in the works for awhile, although it has morphed a bit. We had been planning on doing a look at the former Sen. William Cohen's (R-Maine) "Computer Chaos" report 10-years after that report was issued. Just to make sure everybody is on the same page, Paul Brubaker, who was on Cohen's staff at the time, wrote a fun piece about it to lead off this week's comment section.

We originally asked Brubaker to write the piece for the 10th anniversary of the Chaos report, which would have been October 12. Brubaker wrote the piece last fall. (Aside from really enjoying the piece, I also really enjoy the headline: "Before Clinger-Cohen, there was Chaos.") But we (read: "I") did not get all the full package of pieces pulled together in time. And it seemed odd to run it weeks after the anniversary. So we were left in a strange place where we had a few great pieces, but we needed a hook.

That opportunity came when Input and Washington, D.C. radio station WMET decided to do a Clinger-Cohen event on June 8. And so... a hook!

I might note that FCW editors appear on WMET's morning radio show, Bisnow Live!, and the Clinger-Cohen event will be aired on Mark Bisnow's show that morning. You can listen online, if you are interested.

Brubaker's piece is an interesting look behind the scenes of both the Chaos report and the early days of the Clinger-Cohen Act.

The Clinger-Cohen package, however, features several columns. This week, we mostly feature some of our regular columnists -- Steve Kelman, who was the Clinton administration's first administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and is widely seen as the architect of the procurement reforms, which were part of the Chaos report; Bruce McConnell, who was former chief of information policy and technology at the Office of Management and Budget; and Tim Sprehe, who also worked at OMB. We also have a top 10 list of Clinger-Cohen benefits from Jim Flyzik, the Treasury Department's chief information officer who served as the vice-chairman of the CIO Council.

There is more to come on this subject. We'll be at the event Wednesday. In fact, FCW editor in chief John Monroe and I will be doing our WMET spot live from the event. (You can listen live by going to the WMET Web site. They stream the show. They also have Podcasts of our spots. I have never Podcasted, so let me know how it sounds.)

We also have more columns to come.

I don't know how interested people are generally in the Clinger-Cohen Act, but it seems these kinds of anniversaries are a good time to look back and look forward. And the Clinger-Cohen Act was a seminal moment for government technology that really significantly altered how agencies buy, use, and manage IT. So it deserves a full review.

If you have comments about Clinger-Cohen, you can do so here on the blog or send me an e-mail.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jun 06, 2005 at 12:14 PM


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