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Catching up from Thanksgiving week...

I'm still catching up with e-mail, but I'm also trying to catch up on what I missed last week. I have been reading FCW stories from last week. Among the interesting items:

* Panel praises management turn-around at DHS agency
* Stolen DOT computers lead to laptop theft ring
* Doan says small businesses can take on big jobs
* GTSI faces Nasdaq delisting

But there were other items out there too.

* The WP had this item from Wednesday.

Report Finds DHS Lax on Contracting Procedures [WP, 11.22.2006]

Private consultants hired by the Department of Homeland Security have found widespread problems with its contracting operation, including nearly three dozen contract files that could not be located.

Files that could be found often lacked basic documentation required under federal rules, such as evidence that the department negotiated the best prices for taxpayers, according to a copy of the consultants' report obtained by The Washington Post.

"The inability to locate files and inconsistent file organization puts the government at risk in ensuring the contractor is fulfilling its contractual obligations and the government is meeting its contract administration responsibilities," the consultants wrote in their report.

That story spurred an editorial on Saturday.

Careless Contracting [WP, 11.25.2006]
The homeland security bureaucracy fails at basic bookkeeping.

The Department of Homeland Security is an MBA's nightmare. When Congress cobbled DHS together in 2002, it took apart and reassembled elements from disparate federal agencies into an uneasy consolidation, too big and too varied, some say, for even the department's tireless head, Michael Chertoff, to adequately control. Instead of synergy, a fair measure of incompetence followed, including, The Post reported Wednesday, embarrassingly poor oversight of the billions of dollars the department has paid to private contractors.

* Contractors Will Face More Scrutiny [WP, 11.27.2006]
After riding high for five years, government contractors are bracing for increased oversight, tighter budgets and stepped up regulations as Democrats take over.

* Start-Ups Try to Plot A Complete Picture 'Mash-Ups' Add Data to Online Maps [WP, 11.27.2006]
Sean Gorman can plot a map of New York bars located in neighborhoods where single, college-educated women live. He can see how bad traffic is on different parts of the Capital Beltway and, if he wanted to, he could find out if killer bees are known to swarm near his Georgetown office.

* The Reality of Our All-Volunteer Military [WP, 11.20.2006]
Regardless of one's opinion of the management and progress of the war on terrorism, the concept of an all-volunteer force has been an amazing success by virtually any measure.

* Peaceful Swiss Army Tries to Give Lessons In Corporate Warfare [WSJ, 11.27.2006]
Criticized as Unnecessary, Military Trains Executives; Bankers in the Bunkers

The Swiss Army has a new target: the office. Late last year, the army began marketing a management course where executives learn decision-making and leadership skills from camouflage-clad officers.

* Life After Vista: Can Microsoft Retool for Web? [WSJ, 11.37.2006]
Microsoft will begin offering large companies a long-awaited version of Windows, pitching the operating system as the start of a new generation of software. But will Windows Vista be the last rollout of its kind?

What can I say -- I've been avoiding going through e-mail.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Nov 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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