BREAKING NEWS

Kathleen Monahan, project manager for NPR’s Balanced Measures Project, said the
guide will show agencies how to use the balanced scorecard method to measure performance.
The balanced scorecard approach takes into account both an agency’s mission and
services as well as customer satisfaction and employee training, she said.


“If you just focus on business results, you’re not going to be fully
successful,” said Monahan, who is on assignment to NPR from the Housing and Urban
Development Department, where she is the Government Performance and Results Act
coordinator.


Monahan said NPR wants to finish the guide by April. NPR is seeking volunteers to
participate in the project. Call Monahan at 202-694-0012 or send her e-mail at Kathleen.Monahan@NPR.gov.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology has certified a cryptographic module
from Litronic Inc. of Irvine, Calif., under Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1,
but encryption features of Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 failed to win approval.


Federal users must use FIPS 140-1 approved cryptographic modules to protect sensitive
but unclassified information. InfoGard Laboratories Inc. of San Luis Obispo, Calif., a
FIPS evaluator, tested Litronic’s Argus 300 Security Adapter, a hardware key manager
on a single board with an external smart card reader, and NIST gave it Level 3
certification.


Argus 300 provides multiple levels of security for standalone desktop and workgroup
systems.


Army officials plan next month to award one indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity PC
contract and resolve a protest of a second.


“We expect to make the awards by mid-February” for PC-3, said Lee Harvey,
division chief at the Communications-Electronics Command Acquisition Center-Washington.
Meanwhile, the Army Materiel Command likely will resolve a protest of Infrastructure
Support 1 early in February, he said.


Vanstar Government Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., protested the Army’s IS-1 award
to Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va. [GCN, Dec. 14, 1998, Page 6].


According to two industry sources, the PC-3 bidders include Comark Federal Systems of
Chantilly, Va., which is bidding IBM Corp. products; Compaq Computer Corp.; Dunn Computer
Corp. of Dulles, Va., which resells Acer America Corp. PCs; Government Technology Services
Inc. of Chantilly, Va., which is bidding Hewlett-Packard Co. products; IntelliSys
Technology Corp. of Fairfax, Va., which resells Dell Computer Corp. PCs; and Vanstar.


Although the federal government missed a deadline to make all payments, except tax
refunds, electronically by Jan. 1, it is moving toward the goal.


Congress set the deadline 1996 when it passed the Debt Collection Improvement Act. The
law exempted payments by the IRS.


The government will aim to make 75 percent of all federal payments, including tax
refunds, electronically by October, Financial Management Service commissioner Richard
Gregg said. Last year, FMS had made it to the 63 percent mark, he said.


A barrier to increasing the number of electronic payments is that 6 million to 8
million U.S. citizens do not have bank accounts, Gregg said.


Jacques Gansler, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, this month
announced 11 new Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration programs.


Through the ACTD programs, the Defense Department tries to speed the fielding of mature
technologies to the battlefield.


The 1999 Defense budget included $89.8 million for ongoing and new ACTD programs aimed
at fielding new systems to deployed military forces within two to four years. The services
and the Joint Chiefs of Staff submit candidates for review by the Joint Requirements
Oversight Council and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


Among the demonstration programs are the Joint Medical Operations and Telemedicine
ACTD, which will use digital imaging and information technology to enhance treatments, and
the Small Unit Logistics ACTD, which will use Internet and neural network technologies to
improve command and control of tactical logistics forces.


Source Recovery Co., whose business is regenerating lost source code, has only one
high-profile government customer: the Social Security Administration. SSA also was Source
Recovery’s first customer for year 2000 services.


Leland Freeman, founder and vice president of the Framingham, Mass., software shop,
said he cannot understand why more agencies have not sought help in recovering old source
code, which often precedes year 2000 system repairs.


“Our inference is that some agencies have not done full-blown inventories,”
Freeman said. He based that statement on the volume of recovery business he is doing with
Fortune 500 companies, he said.


Missing source code is “a black hole in year 2000 projects that will eventually
have repercussions,” he said.


Banyan Systems Inc. will get a $10 million assist from Microsoft Corp. for training 500
Microsoft engineers in the next three years and for migrating Banyan’s older e-mail
and networking products to Microsoft Windows NT platforms.


Banyan chairman and chief executive William Ferry said the agreement involves no
technology transfer. He dismissed speculation that Microsoft was acquiring from Banyan the
technology needed for the Active Directory in forthcoming Windows 2000 Server products.


Banyan’s large federal user base influenced the decision to move to Windows NT,
Ferry said, and he is “confident this is what our customers are asking us to
do.” The Westborough, Mass., networking company has no immediate plans to discontinue
any Banyan products, however, Ferry said.


The public believes air traffic controllers would have a less stressful job if they had
better equipment to work with, according to a poll commissioned by the National Air
Traffic Controllers Association.


Fifty-one percent of respondents to a survey by Opinion Dynamics of Cambridge, Mass.,
said they believe controllers use inadequate and outdated air traffic control systems.
Only 24 percent said they view the equipment as the best available.


The poll also found 81 percent of respondents would pay an additional $1 on airline
tickets if it went to upgrade the equipment.


Opinion Dynamics surveyed 900 people in late October; 52 percent of the respondents
were women and 48 percent men. They were 18 to 50 years old and most had incomes of
$25,000 or more a year.


The Federal Aviation Administration has no comment on the poll, FAA spokesman Frasier
Jones said. “We’d prefer not to talk about our modernization efforts in the
context of a NATCA survey,” he said.


—Christopher J. Dorobek, William Jackson, Bill Murray, Merry Mayer, Gregory
Slabodkin, Florence Olsen and Frank Tiboni
 

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  • artificial intelligence (vs148/Shutterstock.com)

    Government leans into machine learning

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