BRIEFING BOOK

Oceans apart. The
U.S. Atlantic Command, one of nine unified Defense Department commands, needs a better
inventory of its systems if it is going to have them 2000-ready, according to a DOD
inspector general report released late last month.


The report, U.S. Atlantic Command Year 2000 Issues , said USACOM uses 148 systems run
by the services and DOD agencies. Of the 53 mission-critical systems, USACOM could not
tell the IG the status of remediation work for 30 of them. It reported only that eight are
year 2000-ready and 15 are not.


The IG recommended that USACOM establish procedures for monitoring date code work for
the mission-critical systems it uses, work with other unified commands to figure out the
status of such systems and make status reports to DOD’s Year 2000 Program Office.


Services rising. The Defense Department
spent more on commercial services and less on capital equipment during the past decade,
reflecting a growing trend toward service contracts, according to the General Accounting
Office.


In a recent report, Defense Spending: Trends and Geographical Distribution of Prime
Contract Awards and Compensation, GAO said DOD expenditures on equipment buys as a
percentage of all Defense contract dollars fell 16 percent between 1988 and 1997.


Service contracts’ slice of Defense spending rose 16 percent over the same 10-year
period. The actual amount spent on service contracts rose from $40 billion to $42 billion.


Information technology services, at $3.7 billion, made up the second largest segment of
service expenses, following $7.7 billion spent on engineering and architectural services.


Going digital. As part of a $40 million
program to convert paper documents to electronic formats, DOD recently spent $5 million on
software from Automated Document Conversion Systems Inc. of San Diego.


DOD bought 760 copies of ADCS’ VPstudio software that lets users edit
black-and-white and color drawings scanned into the program in real time.


In addition, the software can handle documents captured using large-format scanners.


Defense last fall bought 342 copies of VPstudio from ADCS for $2.25 million. DOD wants
to digitize all its engineering and public works documents by 2002.


Making a connection. The Air Force
Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., has awarded Tektronix Federal Systems Inc. of
Beaverton, Ore., a $5.8 million contract to develop a prototype universal network access
system.


Under the three-year contract, Tektronix will provide a system that can link multiple
broadband information sources and LANs.


—Gregory Slabodkin
gslabodkin@gcn.com
 

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