Every last one of the approximately 400,000 employees in the Defense acquisition workforce can expect to have desktop World Wide Web access, e-mail and a CD-ROM player in the near future, thanks to marching orders issued by Paul Kaminski, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition reform and technology.
Despite DoD's large investment in information technology to support procurement organizations, "I don't think we have the entire acquisition workforce in the electronic age in the late 1990s," Kaminski wrote in a memo to acquisition executives last December. "Our ability to reach everyone electronically in a user friendly manner (i.e., at their desktop) remains an elusive but important goal."
Why do acquisition employees need to be wired? Well, for one thing, they need e-mail to receive "Acquisition Now," a periodic e-mail tip sheet from Kaminski's office. And without Web access, acquisition staffers can't get to the office's Web site to get up-to-date bulletins about acquisition changes, links to acquisition reform sites and other information vital in the fast-moving world procurement reform. In addition, they need CD-ROM players if they are to use the Defense Acquisition Deskbook, a compilation of rules and best practices updated regularly and published on CD-ROM.
"Rather than attempt to identify who does or does not have what particular capability," Kaminski told executives, "I would ask that you identify to me any impediments you see to implementing this goal with a proposed deadline of March 1, 1997."