Homeland Watch in brief

Lobbyist Ashcroft Wins IT Clients

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has picked up several IT companies as clients since he opened his lobbying firm, the Ashcroft Group, last year. Oracle Corp. hired Ashcroft in October 2005 and paid his firm $220,000 through December 2005, according to federal lobbying disclosure reports.

Oracle listed Ashcroft and David Ayres, former chief of staff at the , on its registration form and said it is seeking representation for computer industry, foreign affairs, labor, science, trade and anti-trust issues.

ChoicePoint Inc., a data management company, also spent $15,000 with Ashcroft's firm, and video software company LTU Technologies Inc. spent $20,000, during the last half of 2005.

Who's Running the ISE?

Following John Russack's abrupt departure as program manager of the Information-Sharing Environment at the office of the Director of National Intelligence, some observers are wondering whether some of the project's authority may go to the DNI's newly confirmed CIO Gen. Dale Meyerrose.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte recently told a Senate Select Intelligence panel that the environment is a team effort. "We also have now got a senatorially confirmed CIO and also an information-sharing executive. And those officials are working together to improve the information-sharing environment across the intelligence community," Negroponte said.

Russack announced his resignation Jan. 26, but will stay until a replacement is found.

Meyerrose backs COTS tech

The IT industry is buzzing about National Intelligence Department CIO Dale Meyerrose's recent comments favoring commercial technologies for the intelligence community, over the more typical specialized and customized software.

Meyerrose urged the intelligence community to change its procurement habits to buy more off-the-shelf products. "Every line of local code is a stovepipe," Meyerrose said in a Feb. 7 speech to the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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