Flyzik: 'Yes!' on Homeland Security Department

Flyzik: 'Yes!' on Homeland Security Department

Jubilant homeland security adviser James Flyzik told the audience at a breakfast meeting of the Armed Forces Electronics and Communications Association in Bethesda, Md., this morning, that 'I just can't help but say 'Yes!' ' on the recent passage of Homeland Security Department and other cybersecurity and e-government legislation. AFCEA chapter vice president Philip J. Kiviat said he was introducing Flyzik 'at the start of his victory lap.'

Flyzik praised Patrick Schambach, whom he called 'the godfather of managed-services contracting' in his tenure at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and now in his position as CIO of the Transportation Security Administration. Flyzik said taxpayers and federal CIOs 'shouldn't be worrying about stuff' such as arranging for site licenses, doing computer maintenance, standardizing software images and tracking down missing systems. 'Write a service-level agreement,' he advised. 'Are managed services a panacea? No, but it makes sense to have an industry partner.'

Flyzik said TSA will be 'one of the Big 7' agencies at HSD, and 'clearly a major strategic weapon.'

Schambach said TSA's mission to restore freedom of movement to the nation resonates strongly with employees as well as travelers.

'I was employee No. 6 at TSA, and 10 months later we have 57,780 employees. How's that for a start-up?' he said. 'We don't have a lot of infrastructure in place yet,' forcing some workers to 'use pay phones in the airport lobby to communicate,' but contractors such as DynCorp of Reston, Va., IBM Corp. and Unisys Corp. are on a fast track to build networks and sites. He said the contract payments are 'incentivized' on a scale of plus 5 percent to minus 5 percent, depending on whether the agency's as well as contractor's objectives are met.

Schambach said TSA's IT shop has only 110 employees, but he lauded its skill and talent, calling it one that 'I would match up to anyone's in this town.'

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