From the Editors Desk

Virginia Takes Dramatic Step<@VM>Techtoons

Trish Williams

Systems integrators that specialize in both the federal and state and local markets are sure to be cheered by our exclusive cover story about the state of Virginia's plan to launch the first statewide seat management program in the nation.

While many federal agencies have already jumped into the desktop outsourcing arena, notably the General Services Administration and NASA, the states have been slower to embrace the concept. But that is now changing.

Virginia Secretary of Technology Don Upson tells Washington Technology Staff Writer Steve LeSueur he intends to move forward as fast as possible on an effort to transfer responsibility for the state's desktop personal computers to the private sector.

Upson said the state's planned seat management effort would cover an estimated 60,000 desktops and have an annual value of more than $70 million just among state agencies.

Also in this issue, companies with big stakes in the FBI's Information Sharing Initiative program are looking to members of Congress fresh from their summer recess to define the scope and timetable for a high-profile information technology effort that has been bogged down for the past several months.

A congressional review of a new implementation plan from the bureau is set for completion this week, with industry and agency officials hopeful that funds will be released soon for the five-year effort worth $430 million.

A cover story written by Staff Writer Nick Wakeman will bring you up to speed on the teams Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and SAIC have formed to pursue the FBI contract and outline the agency's information sharing blueprint of the future.

Also, learn more about the nation's top 25 information technology 8(a) companies in a special supplement in this issue. And don't miss our Internet security feature, which highlights the efforts of National Institute of Standards and Technology staff to usher in a new encryption standard.

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