David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 3/3/2003; 7:00:30 AM.



Monday, February 17, 2003
Presidents Day News Update

Cheney Eng-Tow is busy putting together the March meeting of the Infragard of the Wasatch.  The speaker will be from AT&T.  Plan on March 6th at the Salt Lake City County building beginning at 1:00 PM. 

Congress passed an omnibus bill with a 4.1 percent pay raise for federal employees.  It will be a long time before state employees see anything like that again.  At this point, I think we consider ourselves lucky if we're not layed off as part of the continual cuts.

Fred Lampropolous of Merit Medical will be speaking at Tech @Breakfast on February 28th.  Fred is the motivation behind the Utah Ideas website.

Val Oveson spoke out about online services at last week's Utah Valley Tech Expo.  He says that 300 potential online services are on the drawing board.

Dan Gillmor announces that Google has purchased Pyra Labs, the Blogger company.  Blogger has 1.1 million registered users and about 200,000 active ones - of which I am oneBill Gratsch calls this a "watershed" moment for blogging.

Stan Taylor says that superspies exist only in fiction.  Dr. Taylor was my undergraduate advisor many years ago and an excellent professor.  Unfortunately, on this one, I have to disagree with him, since I've met some of these people who don't exist.  I won't say more beyond that.  On the other hand, the majority of intelligence work is quite mundane as he suggests....

Utah CIO, Val Oveson, was on the cover of the Feb. 10th issue of Information Week.

Governor Leavitt discusses homeland security, radioactive waste "plan B", and the legislature during his February 13th news conference.

Statistical tables from the UN report, State of the World's Children

I know it's been a long time since Elias Cortez went down in a puff of smoke, but it still strikes me as odd that only five of 127 state agencies would be interested in the Oracle licensing.

Japan gets ready to take smart cards to a new level.

New revenue figures are due out for the State about noon today...

7:57:30 AM    
Securing Cyberspace - Final Release?

secure cyberspaceLate last week, the Whitehouse released the final version of the National Plan for Securing Cyberspace.  Among the plan's recommendations:

  •  Adoption of a warning and incident information network
  • A single Department of Homeland Security contact for the federal government and industry to report incidents
  • Cyberattack exercises on government agencies to gauge the impact of such attacks
  • The Department of Commerce to examine security issues related to IPv6
  • The Department of Homeland Security to recommend that ISPs adopt a "code of good conduct"
  • The Department of Energy and other concerned agencies to develop best practices for securing distributed control systems, such as SCADA

With respect to state and local governments, the plan states,

DHS will Work with State and Local Governments and Encourage them to Consider Establishing IT Security Programs and to Participate in ISACs with Similar Governments

Finally, "state and local governments are encouraged to establish IT security programs for their departments and agencies, including awareness, audits, and standards; and to participate in the established ISACs with similar governments."  The plan is careful not to commit states to any course of action, but merely makes suggestions.

News items on the final plan:

7:47:40 AM    
Monday Morning

Alan Mather is doing most of his posts on the weekends these days and was very busy this weekend.  He quotes Mark Forman who said,

Were looking for people who can give us solutions. Now we have too many people with an invested interest in the status quo ... IT projects will need managers who can motivate employees and build on recent progress in overcoming a cultural resistance to change ... IT managers will have to sharpen their skills in making good business cases for project funding and in avoiding cost overruns, Forman said. They will need to find ways to save money by taking advantage of buying large quantities, standardizing equipment, using existing technology to its full capacity and eliminating redundant systems."

AvilaAlan also creates a castle metaphor, comparing the silos we have created in government information systems to medeival fortifications:

The real problem is that government (and Im not singling out any one country here) is fragmented, not given to working in cross-functional, let alone cross-departmental, teams. Government is composed not of silos anymore but of well-defended, heavily reinforced forts. Ever since Cromwell signed away the power of the monarchy in 16 hundred and whatever has this been the case. Breaking down the walls of these forts requires a few hundred cannons and a big stack of balls - not just of the cannon variety either.

I don't know if we can always break down the walls, but we can begin to network these fortifications together better by understanding their purpose, taking advantage of their strengths and creating constructive communication ties with their defenders.  These existing systems become part of the infrastructure.  Using XML and web services, we build integrated delivery systems on top of this existing architechture and then redefine it's role in the enterprise.

6:56:03 AM    

© Copyright 2003 David Fletcher.

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Blogs in the Utah Blog Cluster

Phil Windley's weblog
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Joe Leary's Weblog on Open Source
David Willis
Jean Shaw
Shellie Faraday
Dave McNamee's Enterprise Product Mgmt. weblog

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