Author Archive

Elana Varon

Ruling may change feds' records plans

Analysis The U.S. Court of Appeals decision this month allowing federal agencies to continue deleting electronic records as long as they keep paper copies could slow government efforts to manage files digitally, but agencies are unlikely to abandon the programs they have started. The decision in Pu

NIH division completes gradual VAX phaseout

When the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences turned off its Vaxcluster last spring, not many people noticed. The institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, had gradually migrated most of its software applications to a set of 44 Microsoft Corp. Windows NT and Unix servers

DOE plans ultrafast network

The Energy Department plans to build what will be the fastest telecommunications network in the government, capable of transmitting 1 trillion bits of data per second by 2004. The project would upgrade the existing Energy Sciences Network (ESNet) which connects more than four dozen DOE laboratories

Enviro groups endorse candidate for EPA IT position

A coalition of environmental groups has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to appoint as the head of its new Information Office the director of an organization that helps government agencies make public information available online. In a letter to EPA administrator Carol Browner, the groups,

DOE energizes site with extensive Web searches

The Energy Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information has set out to make searching databases and the World Wide Web less frustrating. The agency, which has been disseminating information about energyrelated topics for 50 years, last week debuted a new search engine for querying d

Treasury to pump up IT training

The Treasury Department aims to spend $20 million in fiscal 2001 to train its information technology work force more than double what it spent last year as part of a plan to improve the skills of its IT staff. The budget amounts to 3 percent of the department's IT payroll. In fiscal 1998, the d

Mint site makes money

The U.S. Mint is making money. The agency's online catalog, launched in April, has racked up nearly $7 million from sales of coins and coin jewelry, about 5 percent of its annual income from direct sales. With at least $5 saved in each transaction, every electronic sale means the Mint which by la

EER wins 'seat' pact for 30-person agency

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, one of the government's smallest agencies, has turned to seat management to update its computer systems and keep pace with changing technology, awarding EER Systems Inc. a 10year, $1.5 million contract. Under the deal, reached July 30

Bridging the people gap

Fred Thompson didn't really plan his career. As program manager for information technology work force improvement at the Treasury Department, he spends his time thinking about how to make government careers attractive to upandcoming technologists and managers. He straddles two professions IT an

Court overturns e-records ruling

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a government policy allowing agencies to delete electronic records as long as they preserved paper copies is valid, reversing a nearly 2yearold district court decision. Writing for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Doug

Court overturns federal e-records ruling

A federal appeals court ruled today that a government policy allowing agencies to delete electronic records as long as they preserved paper copies is valid, reversing a nearly 2yearold district court decision.

NIH prepares for ERP solution

When the National Institutes of Health awards a contract this month for an assessment of its administrative systems needs, it will become the latest agency to step into the market for enterprise resource planning software. Agencies throughout the government are looking to ERP as they replace aging

Rules require equal access for disabled

Federal procurement policy makers are drafting new acquisition rules that will require agencies to buy information technology that can be used by employees with disabilities. The rules, expected to take effect a year from now, would carry out a provision of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, kno

IBM re-enters storage hunt

IBM Corp. elbowed its way into the enterprise storage market last week, introducing a server product designed to support disk storage for mainframe, Unix and Microsoft Corp. Windows NT platforms. The Enterprise Storage Server, codenamed Shark, puts IBM in headtohead competition with EMC Corp. an

Program managers find budget process 'flawed'

Key procurement reforms of the past five years have not necessarily worked as intended, according to information technology managers interviewed for a study that will be released this week by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM). A focus group of 11 IT program manag

Supercomputer sale draws fire from Congress

The Energy Department on Wednesday was forced to buy back a supercomputer it had sold to a Californiabased company after officials realized that one of the company's principal employees was a Chinese citizen.

Bureau of Public Debt upgrades accounting system

The Bureau of Public Debt has purchased a new accounting system to help manage $1.8 trillion in investments made by federal agencies in government securities, including the Social Security Trust Fund and military pensions. The Invest One software from SunGard Investment Systems Inc., Hinsdale, Ill.

SDSC offers archiving tips

Agencies can use current technologies to build a system to preserve electronic records and to ensure longterm access to them, according to a new report by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). But the report noted that better software is needed to operate such a system easily. The report, com

Vendors rail against proposed FAR changes

Federal contractors and labor unions are gearing up for a fight over a proposed procurement regulation that would allow contracting officers to deny vendors business if they violate federal laws.

Energy debuts portal for environmental data

The Energy Department this month launched a World Wide Web portal site that will provide environmental and safety information to 125,000 departmental employees and contractors as well as the public. Richard Kiy, acting principal deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety and health at DOE,