http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0302/032702j1.htm By Joshua Dean jdeanat_private March 27, 2002 The National Security Agency is working to transform its information technology business practices as the war on terrorism progresses, a senior agency official told technology vendors Wednesday. NSA CIO Richard Turner outlined the agency's transformation goals at a breakfast meeting sponsored by FSI, a McLean, Va.-based IT market research and consulting firm. Turner has been NSA's CIO for eight months. Previously, he was CIO at the Federal Trade Commission and NASA. The war on terrorism has complicated one of the agency's missions: to protect all classified and sensitive information stored in or sent through federal government systems, Turner said. NSA is reevaluating the way it does business in light of the Bush administration’s focus on information sharing, he said. The agency is now working with agencies whose IT systems are not secure enough to handle NSA's classified information. "Information sharing is a work in progress," Turner said. Since Sept. 11, NSA offices around the world have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While the around-the-clock schedule has strained NSA's IT workforce, the staff is so dedicated, Turner sometimes can't get workers to go home, he told the group. "I became a wartime CIO very quickly," he said. Even though NSA's mission is very different from that of other federal agencies, its IT challenges are surprisingly similar, Turner said. In his short tenure as CIO, Turner has focused on bringing strong IT management practices to NSA and on building a capital planning and IT investment review process at the agency. Once projects have been vetted under this process they will be monitored under new performance measures, he said. NSA has also committed to outsourcing its IT infrastructure. The agency awarded Project Groundbreaker - an IT outsourcing contract worth between $2 billion and $5 billion - to a contracting team led by Computer Sciences Corp. in July 2001. Turner said NSA is also spending more than before on IT and plans to increase its dependence on commercial, off-the-shelf hardware and software - a major shift for an agency that usually builds its own IT systems. Turner has also created a new program office within his organization to focus on contingency planning, business continuity and disaster recovery. He hired a senior executive away from NASA who "lives and breathes" business continuity to head the office. For security reasons, NSA doesn't advertise its contracts in the federal government's normal procurement circles. Turner encouraged small businesses in particular to take advantage of procurement orientation sessions held every two weeks at NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md. "There are a lot of good ideas out there we need to know about," he said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Mar 29 2002 - 04:33:55 PST