BLM begins work on modernization

BLM begins work on modernization

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

MARCH 16—The Bureau of Land Management, which last spring halted new information technology projects until it had implemented investment management processes, has kicked off its National Integrated Land System project.

The first phase of the joint project with the Forest Service is an intranet that will let officials from both agencies share data, BLM's chief information officer, W. Hord Tipton, said. Known as GeoCommunicator, the Web application would tap current databases run by the agencies.

Last month, the General Accounting Office reported that although BLM has improved its IT architecture enough to support the project, its management processes still cannot ensure that the $16.7 million GeoCommunicator project won't flounder.

'By moving forward with development of the GeoCommunicator module before strengthening its investment management processes, the bureau is increasing the risk that the project may not adequately meet its needs or be delivered as planned,' concluded the report, Land Management Systems: BLM's Actions to Improve Information Technology Management.

Tipton agreed that BLM's investment management still needs work, but the agency had to begin the GeoCommunicator project because funding had been earmarked for this fiscal year, he said.

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