Briefing Book

Briefing Book

Seeking answers. An Office of the Secretary of Defense official called the value of the Defense Department Enterprise Software Initiatives into question, saying that many agencies can negotiate software license prices on their own.

'When I've gone out to the field and spoken with people at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and other services, they're telling me they're getting better prices negotiating with local sales [representatives of software companies],' said Paul Brubaker, principal director for the DOD Deputy Chief Information Office, speaking last month at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association InfoTech '99 conference in Dayton, Ohio.

E-mail certification. If networks were really treated as weapons systems, then DOD officials would certify e-mail users, according to Col. Berni K. Skoch, director of chief information officer support at the Air Force Communication and Information Center.

'People aren't going to take us on directly' because of the strength of U.S. forces, Skoch said at the AFCEA conference. 'They'll try asymmetrical warfare, such as exploiting the weaknesses in our networks.' Arguing that 'information assurance is more than passwords and firewall protection,' he recalled a Pentagon user who sent an e-mail message with a 2M attachment to a universal list, which caused widespread network outages.

Navy knowledge management. After more than a year of discussions, comptrollers from five Navy commands have been meeting during the past five months to change their financial systems, logistics, human resources, program management and workload planning, said Ron Turner, deputy chief information officer for infrastructure, systems and technology.

'They quickly realized that it was more than just financial systems' they needed to change, Turner said. 'They broke for a while and went back to their systems commands to see where they could use' electronic business.

In the Fiscal Year 2002 Program Objective Memorandum, officials from the five commands should submit budget requests for training and pilot-testing knowledge management and enterprise resource planning systems, he said.

Army transition. Army officials are using the service's Operations Center at the Pentagon as a Year 2000 Transition Operations Cell, said Miriam Browning, the service's director of information management.

The Year 2000 Transition Operations Cell will be fully staffed between Dec. 28 and Jan. 4, as well as during the leap year rollover in late February and early March, she said.

'Bill Murray


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