Infrastructure plan is a boon for Treasury

Infrastructure plan is a boon for Treasury

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

The Treasury Department estimates that its enterprise communications system will save $480 million by fiscal 2002.

Treasury awarded TRW Inc.'s federal systems division a $425 million 10-year contract in 1995 to replace Treasury's Consolidated Data Network with the Treasury Communications System; the contract's ceiling was later raised to $1 billion.

Chief information officer James Flyzik said the department benefits from economies of scale by having a single network infrastructure.

The network 'allows separate bureaus to concentrate on individual missions with a communication infrastructure provided by the department,' Flyzik said. 'Just as the whole is often larger than the sum of its parts, the achievement of a Treasury-wide collaborative network has value beyond the network itself.'

The savings include $54 million in annual recurring circuit costs, $16 million in salaries and $14 million in maintenance, according to Treasury's TCS July 1999 baseline business case study. Cost savings result from centralized management, acquisition operation and integrated network management, the study said.

TCS' annual cost is $97 million, which is half the cost of operating independent bureau networks.

Long-term benefits of this information conduit include departmentwide standardization and interoperability, information sharing, uniform security and centralized asset management, Treasury officials said.

TCS provides services for intranet and Internet management, security, electronic messaging, electronic commerce, multimedia broadcast, wireless access and local digital services. The digital services include the Treasury Digital Telecommunications System and Voice Messaging System. TCS transports about 700G of data per day.

Four components help move information to department customers, Flyzik said:

''Network services include TCS' top-layer architecture of T1 circuits supporting frame relay and Synchronous Optical Network links. Treasury is migrating to an asynchronous transfer mode backbone.

''The TCS Communications Center houses the integrated network management system, the automated security management system, the operations and maintenance staff, and executive agent and bureau representatives. Network services are provided through the center.

''An integrated network management system gives the department centralized control over performance, security, configuration, billing and accounting.

''The TCS automated security management system supplies management and dissemination of cryptographic keys, identification and authentication, security monitoring and audit capabilities.

TCS makes implementing technology and policies across Treasury's bureaus expedient, Flyzik said.

Sharing services was not as easy when the bureaus had independent or local networks, he said. He noted that TCS, the largest civilian centrally managed network, is connected to the State Department's Diplomatic Telecommunications System for overseeing communications.

The network also helps support the Justice Department's asset forfeitures programs.

Flyzik said Treasury is working with the General Services Administration to develop more joint communications projects.

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