GSA's Thompson urges feds to use the Internet for EC

Thompson, GSA's chief information officer, said industry has embraced the Internet as a
core business tool and is creating a worldwide electronic procurement network.


Most agencies have made Internet forays, but too few have maximized the Net's
potential, he said during his award acceptance speech at the Association for Federal IRM's
leadership awards luncheon in Washington.


"We all need to learn to use this tool," Thompson said. "We have to link
government information technology to the nation's bottom line and service to the
public."


Using GSA as an example, Thompson said providing all employees with Internet access and
erecting an agencywide intranet is a preliminary step toward hooking up to the global
business network. Thompson said GSA's next move is managing the agency's infrastructure as
a corporate information network with standard computing tools, applications and services.


Once all employees can access and share the same information from any site at any time,
agencies can start racking up administrative cost savings and executing strategic plans,
he said.


"Carefully coordinated management and the use of standards has a tremendous
payback in savings and user satisfaction," Thompson said.


"A standard desktop environment allows people to be instantly efficient. It
provides easier maintenance and lowers the cost of ownership," he said.


Thompson also said the government is looking for IT leaders who can do more than handle
technical problems.


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