Hobbs: 'Little bitty potholes have disappeared'

Hobbs: 'Little bitty potholes have disappeared'

Agency leaders spoke with new urgency about unifying their systems this week at the annual Government Electronics and IT Association conference in Alexandria, Va.

A panel of officials from the Agriculture and Energy departments, General Services Administration, Navy and Air Force agreed that their priorities have changed.

'Something happened' after Sept. 11, said panelist Ira Hobbs, acting CIO at Agriculture. 'Little bitty potholes have disappeared.'

'We are not single organizations,' said Alex Bennett, deputy CIO for enterprise integration for the Navy. 'We weren't connected. We learned a lot of lessons.'

Other speakers'G. Martin Wagner, associate administrator for governmentwide policy at GSA, Linda Cureton, acting CIO at Energy, and Terrence Balven, the headquarters Air Force CIO'called on vendors to help federal, state and local governments improve systems security and interoperability.

'All of this falls under the broad mantle of IT,' Hobbs told the audience. 'We want you to be a part of those teams.' Hobbs said USDA has debated upgrading IT infrastructure and combining systems for a while. Now it's critical, he said.

'We were focused on infrastructure. What has changed is the intensity,' he said.

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