Regarding the editorial, “CIO strength is in ideas” [GCN, July 13, Page 20]: I agree that a governmentwide
approach to managing investment and capital planning is a good idea.

Speaking as the co-chair of the Chief Information Officers Council’s Capital
Planning and Information Technology Investment Committee, I can say with great certainty
that the proposed IT Investment Portfolio System (I-TIPS) is a powerful tool, a highly
beneficial product with potential to help agencies automate their capital planning and

So, if the product is so good and so compelling, why do you suggest that the CIO
Council needs to force agencies to use it? Why adopt a czarist approach, when good sense
and the inherent power of a collegial CIO Council will work better?

As you state, we already have the legal authority of the Information Technology
Management Reform Act mandating that agencies do capital planning and I-TIPS demonstrates
prowess as a helpful automated tool. As you further state, “Strength of ideas and
force of personality often give a person or group great influence.” I think that the
strength of I-TIPS will sell itself—to the CIOs on the council and to the agencies
that must institute capital planning to comply with ITMRA.

Our committee has supported the development of three modules of I-TIPS: Selection,
Control and Evaluation. A fourth module, Reporting and Analysis, was funded last [month].
I-TIPS is being piloted by several agencies, and others are signing up. Governmentwide
implementation of

I-TIPS is a high priority of the committee, the CIO Council and the interagency I-TIPS
steering group we have formed.

I think it is unfair to characterize honest discussion among the CIO Council members as
a “spat” or weakness, rather than as the healthy exchange of ideas and the
weighing of strategic alternatives required to make good choices. I would characterize the
discussion as an example of the CIO Council’s stepping forward to collectively
exercise its leadership role.

Shereen G. Remez
Chief information officer
General Services Administration

GCN’s article, “Software glitches leave Navy Smart Ship dead in the
water” [July 13, Page 1] made inaccurate statements
about Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system, which is deployed as a component in
the Navy’s Smart Ship program. The article stated, at length, the opinions of a
single engineer whose representations were directly contradicted by factual information
provided by the Navy to GCN.

The Navy has demonstrated its continued faith in our products by its recent
announcements that Phase II of its Smart Ship program awarded to Litton Integrated Systems
Corp. and the AN/UYQ-70 tactical display workstation contract awarded to Lockheed Martin
Corp. will both be built on Windows NT. We look forward to continuing to have the honor of
working with the Navy and the Navy’s integration contractors on the Smart Ship
initiative and other important programs.

Microsoft is utterly committed to building robust, secure software that meets the
demanding requirements of both mission-critical governmental and commercial applications.
We consider it a privilege to provide technology used in defense, logistics and public
safety applications. Microsoft is proud of the success that our products enjoy and the
value they deliver in many agencies of the government.

Edmund Muth
Group product manager
Microsoft Corp.
Redmond, Wash.

Editor’s note: Any information supplied by the Navy was
included in the article.

An editing error in a letter from Brian Jones in the July 27 issue resulted in a
misstatement about the Defense Information Systems Agency’s use of Microsoft Windows
NT in one version of the Common Operating Environment. Jones said, “The intent of my
original letter was to point out that NT is already a de facto standard and that DISA
should be embracing industry standards instead of making up their own. DISA’s Unix
engineers have drafted their version of how Windows applications should be designed and
installed … to become DII COE-compliant.” 

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