The Circuit

On the Road Again

The Bush administration's concept of an "interstate communications expressway" for homeland security — comparable to the nation's interstate highway system — is still very much in the development stage. In fact, right now it's simply two pages of scribbled notes, said Steve Cooper, senior director of information integration and chief information officer at the Office of Homeland Security.

But there are grand plans for this new idea, under which the national data and voice network needed for homeland security will be built from the bottom up, relying on and connecting to the systems already in place at the state level instead of creating a single, huge federal network.

Officials are looking at the National Guard's intranet, which covers all 50 states and two U.S. territories. That network could help connect states' systems, and officials are already talking with their counterparts at the Defense Department's National Communications System to see how to build on other DOD networks, Cooper said, at the Industry Advisory Council's annual Executive Leadership Conference.

The office also is planning to ask for about $3 million in the fiscal 2004 budget to analyze the concept, Cooper said. The analysis would examine what infrastructure already exists and what it would take to integrate it, what standards are being used and how they align across all the networks, and what legal and policy issues might pose roadblocks to the proj.ect, he said.

Industry, Feds Honored

IAC presented its annual awards last week to members of the federal government and vendor community who made the biggest contributions to the partnerships fostered by the council.

The ceremony, held Nov. 4 at the Executive Leadership Conference, included the second Spirit of Leadership award honoring Janice Mendenhall, a former General Services Administration employee who spent many of her 32 years in government strengthening the relationship between government and industry. Mendenhall died July 23, 2001.

This year's Spirit of Leadership award went to Sandra Bates, commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service, for her leadership in working with contractors and mentoring in.formation technology and acquisition professionals. Other award recipients included:

* Dan Chenok, director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' information policy and technology branch at the Office of Management and Budget, as individual government contributor of the year.

* Mitzi Mead, director of business development for Mercury Interactive Corp., as individual industry contributor of the year.

* Emory Miller, director of the IT Professional Development Division of GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy, as individual government communicator of the year.

* Tim Long, vice president of strategic markets for ChoicePoint Inc., as individual industry communicator of the year.

* GTSI Corp. and Indus Corp. as corporate large and small contributor of the year, respectively.

* O'Keeffe and Co. as corporate communicator of the year.

Carl Peckinpaugh, corporate counsel for DynCorp and a Federal Computer Week columnist, received the Chairman's Award.

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