Datastream: The news in brief

Investigations halt MZM work


The Pentagon has stopped work under a $250 million blanket
purchase agreement with Washington IT contractor MZM Inc. amid news that the
company's founder is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in
southern

California


.


A

California


grand jury has issued subpoenas for documents related to MZM founder Mitchell
Wade's purchase in 2003 of a home owned by Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.),
according to published reports. Wade paid $1.7 million for the home, which he
later resold for $1 million.


"My client has directed me to comply with the subpoena as
expeditiously as possible," said Cunningham's

Washington


lawyer K. Lee Blalack. He offered no description of the contents sought.


However, a Pentagon spokesman said the decision to cut off
further work the BPA was based on a change in contracting regulations requiring
more competition for the work, not the investigations. MZM earned about $163
million for IT-related work under the 2002 BPA.





3 countries sign security pact


Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff and
Commerce Department Secretary Carlos Gutierrez released a plan, co-developed
with Canadian and Mexican leaders, to establish common North American programs
for screening travelers and strengthening Internet commerce and privacy
protections.


The report is the first document to be released under the
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, created in March by
President Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul
Martin.





OMB: Architectures fall short


Most of the 25 largest federal agencies see benefits in
their investment control processes from their enterprise architectures, said
Richard Burk, chief architect of the Office of Management and Budget.


Although some agencies fared poorly when measured against
OMB's EA Assessment Framework, most agencies' enterprise architectures
scored at least three of a perfect five rating on OMB's maturity model.


The Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Interior
and Labor departments and the Environmental Protection Agency are among the
agencies with solid enterprise architectures, Burk said.


 


Ciena sets up fed shop


Communications network provider Ciena Corp., Linthicum,
Md., has launched a subsidiary concentrating on the federal market.


Ciena Government Solutions Inc. encompasses part of the
parent company's engineering, support and professional service resources and
will focus on designing, deploying and supporting advanced network solutions for
government customers.


Rob Rice, the new subsidiary's vice president and
managing director, also helped Cisco Systems Inc. create its federal operations
program.





Emerge2 in limbo


Swatting aside industry buzz that the Homeland Security
Department's Emerge2 program has foundered, agency officials said the $229
million project is alive but on hold while they weigh its future.


The Electronically Managing Enterprise Resources for
Government Effectiveness and Efficiency program, now dubbed Submerge2 by
industry wags, would create a new financial backbone for DHS.


"I would love to be further along," said Andy Maner,
DHS' chief financial officer. "But I will not blame [prime contractor
BearingPoint Inc.,

McLean

,
Va.


,]. The government and the vendors [on BearingPoint's team] all share
responsibility for driving this program."







Calif.


to limit RFID uses


The California Assembly is considering a partial ban on
radio frequency identification that would allow the technology's use only with
shield devices and other privacy protections.


The bill is an amended version of a California Senate bill
barring all ID cards containing RFID tags. Under the new version, RFID tags
would be banned on driver's licenses, student ID cards, library cards and
health insurance cards, but allowed on access cards for first responders, prison
employees and detainees.


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