News Roundup

The Air Force’s Human Systems Center has awarded Booz, Allen & Hamilton Inc. a
10-year, $350 million contract to build the U.S. Transportation Command’s Regulating
and Command and Control Evacuation System.


Through the TRAC2ES project, the center at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, wants the
McLean, Va., company to design a system that will let commanders make transportation,
logistics and medical decisions.


The system will replace two legacy systems: the Defense Medical Regulating Information
System and the Automated Patient Evacuation System. Booz, Allen officials said TRAC2ES
will assess and prioritize the movement of military patients.


The system will assign patients to hospitals and other medical facilities, and it will
schedule evacuations of injured personnel.


The Government Information Technology Services Board and the Interagency Management
Council are accepting applications for IT Innovation Fund grants.


There is about $3 million available for fiscal 1999 grants, said Gayle F. Gordon,
chairman of the IT Innovation Fund Committee and deputy director of the Interior
Department’s IRM Directorate. The committee will give priority to innovative projects
that benefit many agencies and reinvent the way government does business, she said. Each
proposal application must include a cost-benefit analysis.


Agencies must submit proposals by Sept. 4. For more information, visit http://gits.gov/htm/itfund.htm.


LaserFiche WebLink can post searchable images of paper records on a Web site without
any Hypertext Markup Language coding or file conversion.


Users query the included search engine directly from their Web browsers; no other
client software is needed. But the package from LaserFiche Document Imaging of Torrance,
Calif., does require scanning and classifying the paper documents.


A working version of WebLink is at http://www.laserfiche/weblink.
Sample government documents in folders can be searched and printed out as images or as
text. The search engine does fuzzy, Boolean, phrase and template field searches. The site
also posts numerous comments from government users of LaserFiche products.


Priced from $7,995 to $16,995, LaserFiche WebLink for Microsoft Windows NT or Novell
NetWare requires a 120-MHz or faster Pentium server with 64M of RAM and third-party Web
server software. Searchers’ browsers must be capable of displaying tables but need no
plug-ins or Java capability.


Contact LaserFiche at 310-793-1888.


Agencies taking part in the Interoperable Catalog Pilot will finish on-site integration
work this week and be ready to roll by Oct. 15.


Through the project, agencies are building a single interface for multiple standalone
electronic catalogs. In November, after a one-month test phase, the pilot team must submit
a report to Congress.


The initial phase will authenticate catalog buyers at the Defense Information Systems
Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency, the General Services Administration and NASA, said
Ron Parsons, director of electronic commerce business strategies at CommerceNet, the
industry association sponsoring the pilot.


The goal is to present a single interface to buyers and a single electronic catalog to
government vendors. The catalog system uses Extensible Markup Language tagging to
facilitate queries by users searching for product information. Ordering and payment
capabilities will come later, Parsons said.


The Postal Service Board of Governors agreed last week to fund a system to process the
44 million change-of-address requests USPS receives annually.


It is becoming increasingly difficult to find replacement parts for the 10-year-old IBM
System 88 that now hosts the service’s change-of-address system, said John Walter,
program manager for the Forwarding Control System.


It also is hard to find programmers who know the PL/1 language that the system is
written in. “No young programmers study that language,” Walter said.


The new system will use two servers tied to a RAID storage system, be written in C++
and have more functions, Walter said. The service is still deciding on the system details,
he said.


The service will likely award a contract, worth more than $20 million, to Siemens
ElectroCom of Arlington, Texas, Walter said.


The service plans to install the new system at 225 sites around the country beginning
in November. It expects to finish the deployment by October of next year.


The General Services Administration expects to rule this week on a protest of its Seat
Management contracts. Earlier, the agency had said it would make a decision by last week.


Wanda Smith, program manager for Seat Management, said GSA contracting officers expect
to make a decision tomorrow on the agency-level protest lodged by Boeing Information
Services Inc. A GSA official said last month that GSA would issue a decision on Aug. 4.


In the protest filed July 15, Boeing of Vienna, Va., said GSA’s Federal Technology
Service misled vendors about the criteria it would use to evaluate bids.


The Chief Information Officers Council last month approved a $4 million budget for
fiscal 1999.


Although the council would not detail how it plans to spend the money, it will allocate
the funds based on the strategic plan the council issued in January, said Candace
Hardesty, a council staff member.


Money for council functions will come from the Information Technology Innovation Fund
managed by the Government IT Services Board and the Interagency Management Council. For
fiscal 2000, the CIO Council will seek independent funding through the congressional
appropriations process.


James Flyzik, the CIO Council’s vice chairman and Treasury Department CIO, said
earlier this year that the council will seek its own funding in the fiscal 2000 budget.


The council also is updating its strategic plan. The CIOs will discuss the new plan
next month at the Interagency Resources Management Conference, which the council is
cosponsoring with the General Services Administration


The Veterans Affairs Department has set up a page on its Web site to help veterans
disturbed by the violent battle scenes in the movie “Saving Private Ryan.”


“The graphic depiction of combat in World War II in this powerful film has sparked
an array of reactions and a heightened awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder,”
VA spokesman Robert Klear said. “We decided to put this information online because
this is what we do at VA—reach out and help veterans.”


—Gregory Slabodkin, Christopher J. Dorobek, Susan M. Menke, William Jackson,
Merry Mayer, Christopher J. Dorobek and Frank Tiboni.

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