Intercepts

Happy are thou who have been...called to be outsourced.

Happy Are Thou Who Have Been...

...Called to be outsourced. There are no signs of the mega-moral problems

being reported at the Army logistics megacenters in Chambersburg, Pa., and

St. Louis, according to Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the Army's director of

information systems for command, control, communications and computers,

and other officials attending the Army's Directors of Information Management

2000 Conference in Houston.

Campbell and officials from his office said that the 500 workers at

the two facilities who recently lost the "competition" for the Army's Wholesale

Logistics Modernization Program to Computer Sciences Corp. believe they

have been treated fairly and given "new opportunities" that they otherwise

would not have had.

"To the best of my knowledge, the Army took great strides to take care

of the people," Campbell said.

Although my listening post perched atop the Houston Astrodome has picked

up signals that Campbell's staff is passing the word that the 500 outsourced

workers are "very pleased" with their CSC benefits package, there also are

indications that for some strange reason, the Army "couldn't show [the package]

to them until after the contract was selected."

An operative deep within the National Federation of Federal Employees

union tells the Interceptor that Campbell was right when he said, "People

on the ground have a totally different perspective." The Interceptor is

still trying to find out how NFFE members feel about Campbell's remark that

outsourcing in Chambersburg and St. Louis shouldn't be an issue because

the workers at those facilities have been busy maintaining more than 30

million lines of legacy code.

(D)o as (I) (SA)y

At least one of the Army's information managers is outraged at the way

the Defense Department's premier "rice supplier" dictates to DOD's "rice

bowl owners" where they are allowed to purchase communications services.

After crunching through several more "rice bowl" analogies, my cadre

of Astrodome code talkers managed to decipher the message.

It seems that the "rice supplier" is the Defense Information Systems

Agency, which, according to certain Army "rice bowl owners," is limiting

flexibility when it comes to purchasing communications services. The problem

is serious enough that some say they are simply not getting the services

they need.

Campbell, a self-admitted former DISA basher, said the problem is a

question of Army policy and not the result of DISA's dictatorial tendencies.

Four-Letter Words

Unfortunately for a lot of managers who are trying to upgrade IT and

communications equipment at camps, posts and stations around the country,

infrastructure has become a four-letter word as far as the Beltway bandits

are concerned. That was the message delivered to attendees at DOIM 2000

by Air Force Maj. Gen. (select) Howard Mitchell, director of the Pentagon's

National Security Space Architect office.

But the Army's Campbell, whose service is in the midst of a major infrastructure

revitalization and modernization program, said he found it "terribly unfortunate"

that the military has "such a disconnect with words [used] inside the Beltway

[in ways] that Noah Webster never intended."

Campbell, ever the realist, added that despite the word's bad rap, infrastructure

is absolutely necessary and responsible for the revolution in business and

military affairs that the Pentagon now enjoys.

However, "we may have to come up with a better word that sells inside

the Beltway," he said. How about "renovation" — as in a Pentagon renovation

project?

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