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Business number. Agencies applying for grants from the Housing and Urban Development Department must have a Data Universal Numbering System number starting Dec. 9.

HUD issued a final rule earlier this month to ensure that applicants have a single identifier.

The rule applies to all applications for grants, cooperative agreements, capital funds or operation fund subsidies, capital advances or other assistance. It also affects renewal applications.

State or local agencies applying for Federal Housing Administration insurance or loan guarantee transactions that are not associated with a grant program do not have to provide a DUNS number.

Agencies can apply for a DUNS number by calling Dun & Bradstreet Corp. of New York at 866-705-5711.

Chattanooga queue view. Chattanooga, Tenn., is using new job scheduling software, a move that it made after it updated its operating system. Previously the city used DECscheduler, now owned by Computer Associates International Inc., for batch processing management. But as Chattanooga moved to a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 XP platforms, the city needed a product that could work with Windows, said Greg Humberd, a senior system and database administrator for the city.

The city switched to ActiveBatch job scheduling software from Advanced Systems Concepts Inc. of Parsippany, N.J. 'One of the reasons we went with ActiveBatch was that it ported most of the same commands to Windows [as DECscheduler]. People were used to a command line interface,' Humberd said.

The software also adds several new automatic functions. 'It automated quite a bit of stuff,' Humberd said. He assessed the time savings as 'tremendous.'

Brand new Jersey. Jersey City, N.J., is making plans to overhaul its technology infrastructure.

Most of the city's PCs were between 5 and 7 years old, said John Mercer, Jersey City CIO.

'About 20 percent of our support calls had to do with hardware failure,' he said. The IT Department had only three support staff members available at the time to troubleshoot user problems, Mercer said.

About a year ago the city leased 200 Hewlett-Packard PCs running Windows XP, Mercer said.

This year the city hired CR Tech Solutions LLC of Newark, N.J., to analyze its network infrastructure. 'This gave us what we haven't had for years'a strategic plan,' Mercer said. The company interviewed users and IT employees, and studied e-mail systems, platforms and applications. Mercer will turn the findings into a request for proposals for implementing the plan.

Jersey City officials, including acting Mayor L. Harvey Smith and the city council, 'realize you can't rely on paper reports and anecdotes,' Mercer said. 'At a neighborhood meeting, everybody is going to say there are too many potholes. Now [city officials] will be able to say 'There are this many potholes, and here's the schedule for getting them filled.' '

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