Major programs within State Department

State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset: The department last December awarded a contract potentially worth up to $237 million over 10 years to a team led by Northrop Grumman Corp. to overhaul its system for transmitting official messages. The existing system handles about a million cables annually. State plans to fully deploy SMART by October 2006.

Secure extranet: State plans to promote information sharing inside the foreign affairs community and with nongovernmental organizations, international organizations and the public by establishing this network.

Global Financial Management System: The department already has replaced three worldwide financial centers with one facility in Charleston, S.C. The reorganization allowed State to close a facility in Paris that had a staff of 150 as well as centers in Bangkok, Thailand, and Mexico City. Next steps include creating a common financial management infrastructure, based on the Oracle database management system State uses in Charleston.

Secure Wireless Extended Enterprise Technology pilot: The Information Resources Management Bureau has distributed BlackBerry handheld devices from Research In Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, to about 100 employees for unclassified communications. The BlackBerries use a commercial encryption system. According to IRM, its customers have a great need for remote access to the department's systems.

Consular Lost and Stolen Passport database: The department recently expanded the CLASP database to relay within seconds information on lost and stolen passports to all overseas posts, domestic passport agencies and the Homeland Security Department. In May, State expanded the program to transfer to Interpol limited data, consisting of passport numbers, for more than 300,000 lost or stolen passports. State updates the Interpol records daily.

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