The Circuit

Working Without a Net; Architectures Make Good Neighbors; Talking the Talk; Bandwidth Needed

Working Without a Net

Industry is making a valiant effort to convince feds about the need to back up their critical communications systems.

The Information Technology Association of America sent letters last week to congressional leaders asking them to revive legislation that would require the creation of redundant and physically separate communications systems for key federal agencies.

Sept. 11 "demonstrated quite graphically" that having no separate backup system is as bad as having no backup at all, according to ITAA President Harris Miller.

Congress failed to pass legislation requiring backup systems that was proposed last winter by Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). The Senate passed it, but the House did not.

The ITAA letters asking Congress to pass such legislation before adjourning this year were sent to Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Subcommittee.

Architectures Make Good Neighbors

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the Office of Management and Budget have begun examining how the two levels of government can align their approaches to enterprise architectures, with a goal of easier collaboration and data sharing.

As the demand for better information sharing across federal, state and local government boundaries increases, the need for some compatibility among architectures is apparent, so NASCIO and OMB officials are discussing how to bring elements of the state and federal approaches into line, said Gerry Wethington, CIO of Missouri and chairman of NASCIO's Enterprise Architecture Committee.

Various other federal agencies also have expressed interest in working with NASCIO on some of the architectural items, Wethington said. "This isn't just from a homeland security perspective.... There's a recognition it's needed also for more effective electronic government and other things."

Talking the Talk

Municipalities nationwide have many non-English speaking residents, which can make for interesting and even testy situations when local law enforcement officials attempt to communicate with them. Even a routine traffic stop can become more frustrating than normal for both parties when basic commands such as, "License and registration, please" are not understood and obeyed.

With that in mind, the Justice Department's research and development branch is testing speech and language technologies to help state and local law enforcement officers with their daily duties, according to Steven Schuetz, a physical scientist in the Office of Science and Technology at the National Institute of Justice.

Schuetz, speaking last week during a speech and voice technology conference in Washington, D.C., said two language translation tools are currently being field-tested: a speaker-dependent, pocket-sized translator that includes 250 phrases in four languages, and speaker-independent software that can be used for voice recognition and analysis in simulations and gaming scenarios.

Bandwidth Needed

Many American workers would gladly take a smaller paycheck to work at home, telecommuting to the office and avoiding traffic jams that turn the workday into a headache, according to a new survey.

But for that to happen, the federal government must expand broadband availability to deliver faster and better Internet services, according to the National E-Work Survey, conducted by the Positively Broadband Campaign, which is committed to encouraging broadband use for the public and private sectors.

"A significant amount of Americans see clear value in telecommuting if given the option," according to the survey. "They see it as improving their lives, improving the quality of their work, and a significant amount of people are willing to take less salary in order to have the option to telecommute."

So exactly where is the federal government when it comes to encouraging telecommuting? Not too far along, according to its own statistics.

At the end of last year, 4.2 percent of all federal employees — about 70,000 workers — worked at least one day a week from home or at a federally sponsored telecenter. That is nearly double the number that worked from home the year before, according to Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of the General Services Administration's Innovative Workplaces Division.

But policies vary from agency to agency. Some offices pay for a second telephone line. Others do not, according to Kaczmarczyk. Some provide laptops and other equipment, and some do not.

"Congress would like to see more federal workers telecommuting," Kaczmarczyk said.

Got a tip? Send it to circuit@fcw.com.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.