BREAKING NEWS

The Financial Management Service next month will roll out a program to increase the
number of citizens who receive federal benefits and other payments electronically, FMS
commissioner Richard Gregg said.


Individuals who receive federal benefit, wage, salary or retirement payments but do not
have bank accounts will be offered electronic funds transfer accounts at participating
banks.


The program is targeted at the 6 million to 8 million citizens who now use
check-cashing stores and other such services to cash federal checks, Gregg said. In fiscal
1998, FMS made about 63 percent of its payments electronically, but it wants to increase
that figure to 75 percent by next October.


Gregg said federally insured financial institutions will offer the accounts, which will
have the same protections as other consumer accounts and will not require minimum
balances.


The National Institute for Standards and Technology has certified two encryption
products—one hardware, one software—as compliant with Federal Information
Processing Standard 140-1.


The nFast Cryptographic Accelerator from nCipher Inc. of Andover, Mass., won approval
last month as a hardware cryptographic accelerator and digital certificate authority
product. The SmartGate virtual private network client from V-One Corp. of Germantown, Md.,
received certification this month.


FIPS 140-1 specifies requirements that cryptographic modules in voice and data
networking products must meet for handling unclassified information. Agencies must use
certified products on networks that encrypt information, unless they obtain a waiver.


The nFast accelerator manages electronic keys and digital certificates used for
electronic commerce and secure-access applications.


Contact nCipher at 781-994-4000 and V-One at 301-515-5200.


Although the Defense Department’s budget is smaller, DOD will see its electronics
and information technology budget grow 7 percent over the next decade, according to a
10-year forecast.


Electronic and IT programs will grow from $57.6 billion this fiscal year to $61.7
billion in fiscal 2008, according to the Government Electronics and Information Technology
Association.


“The current forecast represents an increase in annual funding levels and a more
stable forecast trend line, as compared to last year’s forecast,” said Richard
Weiland, chairman of GEIA’s 10-year forecast committee.


GEIA’s forecast is good news for NASA, too. The forecast estimates NASA’s
budget will stabilize at $13.5 billion until 2002, when it will grow with inflation as
long as inflation remains low. FAA, however, will continue to face fiscal challenges that
will hamper its plans to modernize its air traffic control systems, said GEIA, a division
of the Electronic Industries Alliance in Arlington, Va.


A year 2000 patch for Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and Server 4.0 arrived last
week in Service Pack 4, along with fixes for 642 bugs discovered since last year’s
Service Pack 3.


Microsoft Corp.’s service pack also put into the operating system a Security
Configuration Manager and support for the Telephony Application Programming Interface 2.1
and other communications protocols.


NT’s Web-based enterprise management, known as WBEM, got a face-lift from the new
Windows Management Instrumentation, which extends control over enterprise clients.


Visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsnt
  to download the patch, or order a CD-ROM by calling 800-370-8758.


The Defense Information Systems Agency earlier this month released the latest version
of the Defense Information Infrastructure’s Common Operating Environment, bringing
the Defense Department a step closer to joint interoperability among service and DOD
systems.


DISA released DII COE Version 3.4, which expands common operational picture support,
adds the Joint Mapping Tool Kit for Microsoft Windows NT, improves parity between the Unix
and NT and upgrades the commercial products in the COE.


DISA expects to release DII COE Version 4.0 in April. It will include complete parity
between Unix and NT, and security configuration tools. Version 5.0 will follow later next
year and will support real-time extensions for selected platforms with pre-emptive
scheduling controls and a defined process prioritization scheme.


Paul Wohlleben, chief information officer at the General Services Administration’s
Public Buildings Service, will take early retirement and leave his post Nov. 3.


Wohlleben plans to become a consultant with Grant Thorton LLP of Chicago. He will serve
as director of information technology consulting, with a focus on the federal government.


A career federal employee, Wohlleben has been the Public Buildings Service’s CIO
for about a year. Before that he was deputy CIO at the Environmental Protection Agency. He
also worked in information technology management posts at the Treasury Department.


In a letter to GSA staff members, he said that it is “clearly in my best interest
to commence my second career sooner rather than later.”


BEDFORD, Mass.—The Defense Department over the next decade will quadruple its
demand for information from communications systems, a senior Defense Information Systems
Agency official said.


DOD will need 40-gigabit/sec communications capacity by 2010 to support two major,
simultaneous regional conflicts and the military’s insatiable appetite for
information, said Brig. Gen. Gary Salisbury, commander of DISA’s Joint
Interoperability and Engineering Organization. Defense currently requires only
10-gigabit/sec capacity, Salisbury said. He spoke at at last week’s Military
Communications ’98 conference.


Earth-based communications systems will provide 7 gigabits/sec of the capacity in 2010,
Salisbury said. Satellite communications will provide 13 gigabits/sec of capacity during
the same period, he said.


The other 20 gigabits could be provided by commercial satellite systems, Salisbury
said. But that’s an economic decision that DOD still has yet to make, he said.


ATLANTA—Vendors stressed interoperability at the NetWorld+Interop trade show last
week as more than 130 companies demonstrated their products on a mobile network.


The N+I network provided local and remote site connectivity via voice over IP products,
wireless links, digital subscriber lines and cable modems. The open IPSec standard secured
the traffic.


Although remote access dominated the product announcements, new offerings ran the gamut
from year 2000 PC tools from Tally Systems Corp. of Hanover, N.H., to point-of-sale boards
that link credit card readers and cash drawers to networks running Microsoft Windows 95.


Cabletron Systems Inc. of Rochester, N.H., announced a suite of WAN interface products
for its SmartSwitch router family plus broadband virtual private networking products for
small organizations and field offices.


—Merry Mayer, William Jackson, Gregory Slabodkin, Michael Cheek, and
Christopher J. Dorobek



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