Interview: Patricia Lattimore

IT is answer to new challenges

Patricia Lattimore

Patricia Lattimore, Labor assistant secretary for administration and management, and chief information officer, has worked in government for 33 years. She has moved up the ranks from a clerical worker in the Postal Service to the secretary of Labor's primary adviser on administrative policies and programs in information resources.

As assistant secretary since November 1997, Lattimore also advises the secretary on human resources, safety and health, budget and finance, procurement and administrative services. The Washington native is a graduate of Southeastern University and has done graduate work at Federal City College, Harvard University and American University.






Who's In Charge


Patricia Lattimore

Chief Information Officer and Assistant

Secretary for Administration and Management


Edward Hugler

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information
Technology


Laura Callahan

Deputy Chief Information Officer and
Director of the Information Technology
Center


Carl Lowe

Associate Commissioner, Bureau of Labor
Statistics, Office of Technology Survey Processing


Stephen Cohen

Development Officer for Information Systems, Employment Standards Administration


Bruce Eanet

Acting Administrator of Technology and
Information Services, Employment and Training Administration


George Fesak

Director of Program Evaluation and
Information Resources, Mine Safety and Health Administration


Cheryle Greenaugh

Director of Information Technology,
Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Diane Schweizer

Director of Information Management,
Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration


Hary Puente-Duany

Director of Agency Management and
Budget, Veterans Employment and Training Service



TOP CONTRACTORS



(in millions, calendar 1999)


User Technology
Associates. . . . . . . . .$16.0

Computer Sciences
Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$9.5

Orkand Corp. . . . . . . . $5.4

Systems Plus Inc. . . . .$4.5

National Computer Systems Inc. . . . . . . . .$4.2

Panacea Consulting
Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.2

Federal Data Corp. . . . $3.3

Wang Federal
Systems . . . . . . . . . . . $3.0

ACS Government
Solutions . . . . . .. . . . .$2.8

Jorge Scientific Corp. .$2.6

TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . $55.5






Sources for this GCN Snapshot include the Labor Department and Input of Vienna, Va.




Lattimore emphasized the importance of customer service and work force training when she spoke with GCN about Labor's information technology initiatives.


LATTIMORE: Our workplaces are changing at warp speed. So are American workers. Technology, globalization and new demographics are constantly redefining work. We know that as changes come and years pass, three things remain constant: American workers must have a balance between work and family, rising economic security, and workplaces that are safe and fair.


The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management conducts classes and deskside sessions to bring Labor's work force up to speed on new information technology programs and applications. The program is in the spirit of Labor Secretary Alexis Herman's Lifelong Learning Initiative, trainer Priscilla Wilson said.


The Labor Department's challenge is to keep this foundation firm as we manage the changes. Our information technology portfolio contains initiatives that further our mission to ensure a safe and healthy workplace, and a secure and prepared work force.

Out in the field on the job, our inspectors' health sampling activities depend on the use of portable computing systems configured with specially designed software applications to ensure safe and healthy workplaces.

Our laboratory information system is networked and interconnected with scientific equipment such as infrared detectors, X-ray units and carbon analyzers. Linking portable computing equipment to our laboratory information system expedites the sampling process to generate the results needed to evaluate compliance with worker health and safety standards.

Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has embarked on an IT initiative that would enable industry participants to digitally certify and electronically respond to surveys. The system under development will enable the issuance of digital certificates and public-private key pairs for encrypting and signing digital documents.

The receipt of authentic survey information from industry participants is critical to the validity and accuracy of Labor's statistical analysis processes. Key economic indicators, such as the Consumer Price Index, are produced from the statistical analysis processes.

Labor relies on its ability to develop sound investment strategies using its newly developed collaborative Capital Planning and Investment Management Process.

The Interagency Investment Review Board and IT Architecture Subcommittee actively research the applicability, feasibility, cost and benefits of emerging technologies. The Investment Review Board and Architecture Subcommittee comprise Labor professionals who represent the mission interests and objectives of all the department's agencies.

Users are required to collaborate with our IT professionals to communicate their business needs before development efforts begin. The users work jointly with our IT professionals to exchange knowledge, re-engineer business processes to maximize effectiveness technologies, and ensure requirements are satisfied and the system performs according to expectations.

Labor's IT community strives to provide the best solutions for our users.

Major programs
Lifelong Learning'Labor launched Learn2University, the first installment of the Lifelong Learning Initiative, on Sept. 29, said officials in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Administration and Management. This interactive Web program offers 250 courses to enhance employees' technical skills in word processing, spreadsheets, databases and programming languages. The program uses software and Web products to help employees improve overall performance and assess management skills.

People Power 2000'The People Power 2000 Steering Committee, formed in 1997, will integrate Labor's newly developed payroll and personnel systems by next January. Labor will replace the legacy Personnel Management Information System and Interactive Payroll System. The new applications will be built around PeopleSoft HRMS from PeopleSoft Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif. In Phase 1, which was completed June 6, Labor implemented the new People Power system in 14 department personnel offices, which account for about 200 end users. Phase II will expand human resources functions to key decision points in the agencies. The Web will let work flow electronically to the appropriate personnel office.

ELAWS'Employees and employers can access Labor rules and regulations on the Web through the Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses site. ELAWS is interactive and provides expert advice on Labor compliance issues, workplace laws, worker rights and employer responsibilities.


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