War on terror sets premium on speed, cooperation

War on terror sets premium on speed, cooperation

The post-Sept. 11 environment has brought better cooperation among agencies and a greater sense of urgency, senior systems officials said yesterday at the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Policymaker Breakfast.

A panel of 13 top feds said agencies must work together and work faster to recover from the attacks and fight terrorism.

'We've talked about this within CIA as being a marathon, not a sprint,' said Doug Naquin, the intelligence agency's deputy CIO. 'But we still seem to be doing three-minute miles.'

The State Department is pushing up its schedule to implement secure voice systems, upgrade high-frequency radio systems and expand telecommunications redundancy, said Fernando Burbano, the department's CIO.

The FBI is speeding up rollout of its Trilogy systems modernization project. 'It was originally a three-year plan,' FBI CIO Mark Tanner said. 'Now, after the events of Sept. 11, we've compressed the schedule and are working toward a Dec. 2002 completion.'

IT officials at the breakfast also reported greater collaboration with the private sector. Mayi Canales, the Treasury Department's deputy CIO, noted that vendor assistance helped four Treasury agencies stationed in a building destroyed by the World Trade Center attacks to resume operations in four days.

Angela Styles, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, echoed the need for government to increase collaboration with vendors.

Mark Forman, associate Office of Management and Budget director for IT and e-government, said the administration's goal of unifying and simplifying systems has led to some new relationships among agencies.

'A lot of the agencies that don't appear to be members of the intelligence community are working more closely than ever now,' the CIA's Naquin said.

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