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FCW Insider: Blogging from IPIC, day 2

So I continue down here at the annual IPIC conference -- the Information Processing Interagency Conference. (I got an e-mail from somebody pointing out that it actually isn't the IPIC conference given that the "C" in IPIC actually stands for "conference." So saying "IPIC conference" is like saying ATM machine, given that ATM stands for automated teller MACHINE... or saying "2 a.m. in the morning" -- as opposed to 2 a.m. in the afternoon?)

As always when I'm at these events, there is more to write about then I have time to write. (Yes, I do have a day job!) But... more fromIPIC..

Some buzz items...
* We are hearing that a new DHS CIO has been named... apparently a private sector guy -- Rich Mangion from JPMorgan, so we hear. DHS PAO folks are saying, 'Not so fast,' but... that's the buzz. As we say, this is developing.

* Alliant... As FCW reported yesterday, the judge has notified officials that the protest of GSA's multi-billion Alliant contract has been sustained, meaning, of course, that it is going to be delayed even longer. Alliant is GSA's follow-on contracts to the ANSWER and Millennia contracts. There was quite a crowd here to hear what John Johnson, associate administrator for GSA’s Integrated Technology Solutions, would say when he spoke down here at IPIC this morning. Not much.

The court records are sealed, Johnson said, so... well, he just can't say much. "Obviously we have to follow some certain guidelines about what we can and cannot communicate."
It's not that GSA wouldn't like to communicate, he said. we would, but given that the judge has sealed the ruling, "we at GSA are not at liberty to communicate." Meanwhile, Johnson said, "we have some very capable contracts that can meet the needs of GSA's customers."

So... we'll have to wait a bit longer to hear what GSA's next steps will be. There are a lot of questions about what the judge's ruling means. And there is real concern that this may be more then just a temporary delay. The simple fact of the matter is that we just don't know yet. We're working to nail it down the differences between the court ruling and, say, a GAO protest decision. And, of course, we are all anxious to read the redacted ruling. We have heard that the judge was well informed -- apparently he is an engineer. And we are hearing that the problems are specifically with the past performance determination.

Again... this story is developing.

* USDA... After we worried out loud about USDA, apparently there is a lot of concern -- and questions -- about what is going on at Agriculture. One high level government IT person told me that the changes were necessary and that ChuckChristopherson has a definite plan. But then one of the plans that some have heard is that he will be able to stay around through transition.

* SSA awards it's big VOIP contract... the folks from Nortel Government Solutions are celebrating after getting a big win for what they say is world's largest VoIP implementation ever. The contract was originally awarded last summer but had been held up by protests. Those have been resolved and Nortel has officially won. (See SSA's Exhibit 300s here... and the Exhibit 300 for SSA's Telephone Systems Replacement Project (TSRP).)

* And... there is a whole lot of buzzing about GITEC itself and the future of IPIC. I will have to break this out in a more complete item, but... the GITEC board got a presentation Saturday and then they meet Thursday. The questions: What's the future of GITEC and IPIC. But... more on that later today.

I have a bunch of items about the conference itself -- meaning the speakers, including a simply remarkable presentation by the CIO of the Pentagon about the Pentagon hackings, the NASA CIO's view... and more. But those will have to wait.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Mar 05, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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