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This letter regards inaccurate information about Ingram Micro that appeared in the Channel News section (WT, Feb. 23).
Referring to Ingram Micro's sales in the government division, it is written "...the company has had mixed results in the government market, where it has only recently established a Government Division. The big reseller faces fierce competition from GTSI..."
Ingram Micro's Government Authorized Reseller program has been in place since November 1992. Partnership America, the division's enhanced program, was launched in October 1994. Since we are a privately held company, revenue figures are not disclosed. However, sales results for the division thus far have been impressive.
Ingram Micro is not a reseller as your publication indicated. A simplistic definition is: A distributor buys product from a manufacturer, stores it in a warehouse, and then sells it to a reseller. A reseller buys product from a distributor, and sells it to an end user. Ingram Micro is not a reseller.
Finally, it is reported that Ingram Micro faces fierce competition from GTSI. That is not so. GTSI is one of Ingram Micro's largest customers in the government market.

Curt Cornell, senior manager,
Government Division
Ingram Micro Inc.
Santa Ana, Calif.

Editor's Note: Washington Technology regrets the errors.

I believe that you miss the point regarding risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis and how they might be used (WT editorial, Feb. 23).
The real question is can government develop and use a rational process, however limited, to understand and control costs. Frankly, there are just too many examples of programs, regardless of how well-intended or important, that miss their cost targets by orders of magnitude. A cost-benefit analysis, complemented by a risk assessment that shows how sensitive the cost-benefit analysis is to assumptions and change, could be an important basis for legislation and oversight. For example, a highly sensitive cost-benefit analysis could be a basis for legislative delay and efforts to develop more reliable data. As a minimum, such an analysis would call for close congressional attention and action to regularly refine the costs and benefits of legislation. A relatively insensitive cost-benefit analysis would logically have less oversight.
We simply must find a way for government to understand both the good and the bad of its actions.

Bob Warren

Your report "Number of satellites under contract" (WT, Feb. 23) contains an error: It says each of the 949 planned satellites will cost between $1 million and $15 million per satellite. This is impossible! An HS601 or GE7000 costs between $50 and $100 million depending on the payload design and complexity. Similarly, an HS376 is typically $40 million to $60 million. You may have meant $100 million to $150 million, but that price would normally include the launch cost and would be too high for the satellite alone. Even the Russians (NPO) charge $50 million to $60 million for an EXPRESS on-orbit (i.e. inclusive of launch); the satellite alone is $30 million to $40 million. And I expect the Lockheed-Motorola Iridium satellite will cost more than $10 million to $15 million per satellite, irrespective of "mass production."
John Purchase, president
InterSys, L.L.C.
Tempe, Ariz.

Editor's Note: WT stands by its story.

Your article on the Office of Technology Assessment (WT, Feb. 23) suggests at one point that the new American Association for the Advancement of Science's Center for Science, Technology and Congress is standing by prepared to take over the role of OTA should the office be eliminated by Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, as the article itself states a few sentences later, the AAAS center is not intended to supplant OTA, but will serve as a clearinghouse for congressional members and staff in search of science and technology information and as an educational organization for both Congress and the science and technology community.
AAAS strongly supports the Office of Technology Assessment and has written members of the appropriations committees in both the House and the Senate opposing its termination.

Albert H. Teich, director
AAAS, Directorate for Science & Technology Policy Programs
Washington, D.C.

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