Education has some big plans for fiscal 2006

Education Department deputy CIO and chief technology officer Marguerite Raaen

Zaid Hamid

Education Department officials are expecting a busy fiscal 2006. Marguerite Raaen, the department's deputy CIO and chief technology officer, said late last month that at least four requests for proposals for IT systems are in the works.

A new system to give agency analysts more information about how school systems spend federal money will come online as well, and several back-office initiatives will come to fruition over the next 12 months.

Raaen, who spoke at a breakfast sponsored in Falls Church, Va., by the market research firm Input Inc. of Reston, Va., said agency employees should see improved network performance after Education awarded a $176 million contract to Computer Sciences Corp. earlier this summer. Education also will have more storage for e-mail and phone messages, and plans to move its data center to Oxon Hill, Md.

In addition to these planned back-office improvements, Raaen said Education is planning a procurement for network security in 2006 and another for a data warehouse.

The department also will release RFPs for two other large procurements by the end of September, Input estimated. One is for its virtual data center. The other is for a migrant student information exchange that will develop a process to link existing state databases containing student records.

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