Federal Agency Contract Surge
Some good news for the government contracting market: Federal agencies have been awarding more IT contracts this year, according to a new report from market research firm Input. Federal agencies doled out more than $23 billion in IT-themed prime contracts in 2004's second quarter, 50 percent more than the same time last year.
"According to the report, five departments -- Homeland Security, Army, Navy, Air Force and Transportation -- awarded 90 percent, or $21 billion of all contract dollars in the second quarter. The Homeland Security Department was the biggest spender, awarding contracts worth $10.7 billion, of which $10 billion was awarded to Accenture Ltd. of Hamilton, Bermuda, for [US VISIT]. In comparison, DHS awarded just $93 million in contracts in the second quarter of 2003," Government Computer News said. National Journal's Technology Daily picked up on Input's survey and noted that "Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are tied for winning the most IT contracts during the quarter." CNET's News.com also covered the study.
Other Noteworthy Government IT Headlines
* In more e-voting news, software entrepreneur Rebecca Mercuri "issued a challenge Thursday to computer hackers attending their annual Black Hat conference, encouraging them to test whether it's possible to rig an election," the Associated Press reported.
* The Center for Digital Government is out with its annual ranking of the top "digital states." Michigan came in at No. 1 this year, and here's why, according to the center's Paul W. Taylor: "Michigan has changed the citizen and business experience through a broad suite of real-time transactional services, powered by an increasingly shared and robust infrastructure, designed around a coherent statewide architecture, and supported by a collaborative planning process."
* Finding medical data online can be daunting, particularly when looking for information from legitimate sources and authorities on medical care. A government Web site called ClinicalTrials.gov has proved to be a treasure trove for people seeking information on current clinical trials for various illnesses, according to a Washington Post article.
* CNET's News.com has an article looking at whether peer-to-peer networks are being used to leak military secrets, including pictures and secret documents.
* San Jose Mercury News technology columnist Dan Gillmor wrote this week about Strong Angel II, a project "to help create a way for military and civilian disaster-relief people to deal more efficiently with each other -- and with the people who need assistance -- in the turmoil that follows catastrophes." Government and other emergency services experts gathered recently in Hawaii for a realistic exercise "meant to approximate some of the harsh conditions aid workers would find in the wake of war or natural disaster." Excerpt: "Silicon Valley played a role. A digital video start-up from San Jose, VSee Lab, experimented with software it has created for high-quality video conferencing. VSee's founder and chief technology officer, a recent Stanford doctorate graduate named Milton Chen, put Web cameras through some paces, including one underwater transmission to a nearby laptop."
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