This may be stating the obvious, but ComputerWorld declares that “IT Outages Are an Ongoing Problem for the U.S. Government.” The article cites a recent report sponsored by Symantec and performed by MeriTalk, which runs a network for government IT workers. Though the issues that originally plagued HealthCare.gov were their own spectacular kettle of fish, our federal government’s other computer networks are no paragons of efficiency. Writer Patrick Thibodeau tells us:
“Specifically, the survey found that 70% of federal agencies have experienced downtime of 30 minutes of more in a recent one-month period. Of that number, 42% of the outages were blamed on network or server problems and 29% on Internet connectivity loss….
“The report is interesting because it surveys two distinct government groups, 152 federal ‘field workers,’ or people who work outside the office, and 150 IT professionals. Because the field workers are outside the office, some of the outages may be the result of local connectivity problems at either a hotel, home or other remote site. But, overall, the main reason for loss of access to data was a government outage.”
The write-up goes on to note that most workers can go on with their tasks via some other method, like by telephone (48%), through their personal devices (33%), or with some other workaround like Google Apps (24%). Imagine how much more efficient government workers could be if they were not frequently required to get creative just to do basic parts of their jobs.
Cynthia Murrell, September 24, 2014
Phi Beta Iota: The federal government — good people trapped in a bad system — is stupid and mis-managed. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not “managed” anything since its inception, and offers enormous potential if it could receive from the President a mandate to actually “manage.” The US secret intelligence has totally screwed up the National Science Foundation (NSF) and General Services Administration (GSA), compounding the idiocy common within the Department of Defense and its various immature stove-pipes, some of them utterly pathological in their idiocy, fraud, waste, and abuse. There are multiple solutions at hand, the most obvious being dark fiber and the next being open source everything (OSE). It is only a lack of intelligence and a lack of integrity at the uppermost reaches of the Executive that prevent such solutions from being considered.