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Systems Doctor

February 1, 2006 All was not well at the Bay Pines Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Florida during the winter of 2003-2004. Surgery had to be canceled for a patient already in a holding room because the supply of disposable tubing needed for the procedure had run out. Other patients were affected, too;...

Panel: Performance-based contracting not a panacea

January 26, 2006 Increased federal reliance on performance-based contracting won't cure all the problems that often plague big government information technology projects, participants in a panel discussion said Thursday. Both Congress and the Office of Management and Budget have encouraged greater use of performance-based contracting. Under this approach, agencies specify desired results, as...

IRS makes free 2006 tax preparation software available

January 18, 2006 The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday made free federal tax preparation software available to most taxpayers through its Web site. This marks the fourth year that an alliance of tax software vendors have collaborated with the IRS to offer free online versions of their products in anticipation of the April...

GSA shuts down insecure contracting Web site

January 13, 2006 The General Services Administration on Wednesday shut down a Web site for electronic submission of contractor bids because information on the site was not secure. A security consultant hoping to join GSA's general schedule of pre-approved vendors discovered the security loopholes Dec. 22. But the agency did not disable the...

Damage Control

January 4, 2006 When hauled before lawmakers eager to vent frustration over federal mismanagement of information technology projects, having a curative for their complaints at the ready makes all the difference. So it went when Karen Evans, the Office of Management and Budget administrator of e-government and information technology, testified last spring before...

Damage Control

January 1, 2006 Early warning system for troubled IT projects isn't tamper-proof. When hauled before lawmakers eager to vent frustration over federal mismanagement of information technology projects, having a curative for their complaints at the ready makes all the difference. So it went when Karen Evans, the Office of Management and Budget administrator...

Mending Medicare

January 1, 2006 CMS' physician reimbursement system is ailing, but many fear the cure could hurt patients. Medicare's formula for paying health care providers is in trouble. Costs are up, but doctors' pay threatens to go down. Many in Congress and the Bush administration say the cure is pay for performance, which would...

Treasury telecom provider drops out of contest for new contract

December 7, 2005 The Treasury Department's incumbent telecommunications provider has decided against bidding for a new telecom contract, a company spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday. "It's in our best interest not to bid on the contract," said Christy Whitman, a Northrop Grumman spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate. The company's McLean, Va.-based information technology sector was...

New acting GSA acquisition chief plans to wrap up reorganization

December 5, 2005 The soon-to-be acting head of acquisition at the General Services Administration on Monday pledged to complete ongoing reorganization efforts as soon as possible, although he did not provide a timetable. GSA began in September to merge its two previously separate acquisition services into the Federal Acquisition Service. The House Government...

New Deal

December 1, 2005 With the giant Networx contract on the horizon, GSA rewires its approach to telecom services. Hanging telephone wires transmit the death and laughter of men and women, says a poem from the last century. Telephone service was relatively straightforward then-a basic technology operated by a monolithic system. Today, telecommunication is...

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