9 agencies get kudos for IT innovations

9 agencies get kudos for IT innovations

GCN editorial director Thomas R. Temin with the Veterans Benefits Administration's Nora Egan.

At the GCN banquet in Washington this month, nine agencies received honors for systems programs that are helping them accomplish their missions:

• The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for its Financial Resources Desktop. FRED consolidated the financial and purchase processing that three systems previously handled for the Treasury Department bureau and gave users at offices nationwide access to the system from 4,000 PCs via a frame relay WAN.

• The Commerce, Defense and Transportation departments for the NEXRAD Hotline. The hotline supports more than 5,000 workers at 304 sites who maintain Next Generation Radar systems, a complex mix of radar and information technology systems that the departments use to identify weather hazards.

• The Defense Department for the Scientific and Technical Information Program's online training. The Web course gives students a multimedia overview of where to find DOD scientific and technical information, as well as the rules governing its use.

• The Drug Enforcement Administration for its Project Firebird. Through this agencywide initiative, DEA rolled out a standard suite of office automation tools and outsourced systems management at several locations, saving the Justice Department agency $6.6 million annually.

• The Environmental Protection Agency for its Web-based error correction process for information in the Envirofacts Warehouse. The Internet application lets users notify EPA of an error in data gathered about more than 750,000 regulated facilities; it lets EPA track and monitor systems to verify that corrections are made.

• The Forest Service for the National Resource Information System. Through NRIS, the Agriculture Department bureau is standardizing data-gathering systems that are used throughout the organization to monitor more than 192 million acres of public land.

• The Navy for the Electronic Trial Card System. To reduce its vessel inspection process from several days to a few hours, the service has deployed an application that lets Navy inspectors gather their data on handheld devices.

• The Postal Service for its Anti-Money Laundering Compliance System. Through this database program, the service can track the more than 1 million money orders it issues daily through 39,000 post offices and ferret out suspicious orders.

• The Veterans Benefits Administration for two projects, its data warehouse initiative and the Montgomery GI Bill System. Through its year-old warehousing effort, the Veterans Affairs Department agency has consolidated its information, making previously unavailable reports and analyses accessible through a central location. The agency has also modernized its Montgomery GI Bill System to support instant benefits calculations and to improve the monitoring of the educational benefits program.

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