Doing Business With U.S. Marshals Service

General info: U.S. Marshals Service<@VM>The CIO file: Diane Litman

Things to note

Hats off to the Marshals Service. An agency always scores points with me when its "doing business with" link is on the Web site as plain as day. Right on the home page, begin your quest for contracting information.

The introduction is especially welcoming to small, women-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, service-disabled and veteran-owned businesses. The preface commentary) also is worth a read, as it explains which contracting offices do what.

Once you are done perusing the site for contracting tips, a link is provided to FedBizOpps), where the Marshals Service lists its current pursuits.

The first Congress created the Office of the U.S. Marshal under the Judiciary Act of 1789, which also established the federal judicial system.

The marshals were given extensive authority to support the federal courts and to carry out lawful orders issued by judges, Congress or the president. In 1969 the U.S. Marshals Service was established, and in 1988 the Marshals Service Act made the service a separate entity within the Justice Department.

No small task: The director, deputy director and 94 marshals are appointed by the president or the attorney general. There are marshals in every state and in some territories.

Need a marshal? Go here for the agent in charge and the bureau location.

For the curious: The latest list of the 15 Most Wanted Fugitives is here. See anyone you know?

Number crunching

Justice Department

2004 budget: $23.3 billion

2003 budget: $23.1 billion

2002 budget: $27.9 billion

U.S. Marshals Service

2004 budget: $720.8 million

2003 budget: $706.5 million

2002 budget: $670.9 million

The Justice Department's 2004 budget has an increase of $669 million and 2,170 positions to strengthen counterterrorism and counterintelligence work. The Marshals Service is slated to get $18 million and 222 of those positions.

U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshals Service Headquarters

Washington, DC


(202) 307-9054

Founded: 1789

Director: Benigno Reyna

Deputy director: Donald Gambatesa

Employees: 4,639

What it does: The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency, and its focus is as varied as its history. It is involved in almost every aspect federal law enforcement, according to its Web site.

Today its main mission is to protect the federal courts and the operation of the judicial system. It's also in charge of transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses and managing assets seized from criminals. U.S. marshals pursue and arrest 55 percent of all federal fugitives.

Major subagencies: The organization is part of the Justice Department. It has 95 district offices and personnel assigned to more than 350 locations throughout the states, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A U.S. marshal leads each office.

Diane Litman

Henrik G. de Gyor

Full title: Acting chief information officer

Took the job: March 2002

Hometown: Chicago

Home now: Arlington, Va.

Family: Husband, plus lots of family across the country

Hobbies: Reading, travel (was preparing for trip to Italy at interview time), theater, needlework

What is the last book you read, and what are you reading now?
Recently read: "The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, And Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It," by John Miller and Michael Stone

Now reading: "Wind, Sand and Stars," by Antoine De Saint-Exupery and Lewis Galantiere

Alma mater: Bachelor's degree in finance from the University of West Florida; master's degree in national resources management with a specialty in information technology from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, part of the National Defense University

WT: Given what the U.S. Marshals Service does, how are your technology needs different from the typical tech needs of an agency?

Litman: The law enforcement mission of the Marshals Service results in technology needs that are different from most federal agencies. We need 24/7 availability from both the systems and IT staff.

The Marshals Service in particular has data that is an amalgamation of public information, things such as arrest warrants or names of detainees, sensitive information with privacy implications, such as fingerprints and biometric data or personal data from prisoners; and also classified information that we use for our witness security program.

The other important thing is because of the law enforcement mission, mobility is a big factor in our jobs. So it has critical technological impact.

WT: How has technology changed what your agency does or how it does it?

Litman: We regard technology as essential to our mission. The director of the Marshals Services has stated publicly that IT is as important as the budget in supporting the accomplishment of the agency mission.

In a law enforcement environment where the successful apprehension of fugitives is often measured in minutes and seconds, it's imperative that our communications infrastructure be robust and secure, and that portable automation tools, such as laptops and personal digital assistants, be available to support our programmatic needs.

In the last few years, we have received congressional and departmental support that enabled us to deploy automated booking stations, upgrade our infrastructure, acquire secure communications equipment and modernize our legacy.

WT: How did Sept. 11 change your mission?

Litman: The Marshals Service was directly affected by the events of Sept. 11. Our network communications were lost in the Twin Towers collapse, so we had to rapidly deploy satellite and voice over Internet Protocol systems to restore communications.

As a result, ensuring continuity of operations has taken on added urgency, so we have been focusing significant attention and resources on implementing contingency plans for the future.

WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?

Litman: We look for firms that demonstrate a strong commitment to enabling the agency to achieve its law enforcement mission in a cost-effective manner and that produce tangible results in accordance with specific milestones and performance measures.

Also, that they have personnel with experience in supporting law enforcement agencies and that they have existing high-level security clearances. We also seek state-of-the-art, security enhancing mobile technologies.

WT: What are you looking for techwise for the agency's future?

Litman: We spent the last few years especially making substantial improvements in our Marshals infrastructure, so now we're planning to focus our resources on upgrading our legacy systems and building new enterprise applications.

We're going to emphasize information sharing capabilities with other law enforcement entities, and those involved in judicial proceedings, such as the courts.

We're also now engaged in improving the marshals' ability to [support] its personnel abroad, again, to ensure we have continuity of operations capabilities.

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