NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/CIT/      

Center for Information Technology: Important Events in CIT History

1954--A central data processing facility was established in Office of the Director, NIH, under Dr. Harold Dorn, combining EAM (punched card) equipment and biometric expertise.

1956--The biometric facility became the Biometrics Branch in the new DRS

In May the NIH director established a committee on electronic data processing and computers.

1958--NIH installed its first electronic digital computer as an experimental device.

March 8, 1960--The Surgeon General approved establishment of a Computation and Data Processing Branch in DRS.

October 1961--NIH installed its first "second generation" computer.

April 1966--Components of the third-generation computer system were installed.

April 1969--NIH research community receives the first time-sharing computers.

June 1969--Minicomputers designed by DCRT are installed in NIH laboratories.

May 1979--An interagency agreement between HEW and GSA established the NIH Central Computer Utility as a Federal Data Processing Center.

April 1983--The Personal Workstation Project was founded to determine how effectively NIH could use personal computers.

1988--The Convex Unix-based supermini-computer was installed, and the network task group was created.

1990--Extensive networking (NIHnet) was installed at NIH, providing connectivity for 60 local area networks.

1992--DCRT opened its walk-in Scientific Computing Resource Center for NIH personnel.

March 1992--DHHS Secretary Sullivan in a letter to Congress committed to creating a new office to improve management and coordination of NIH’s information resources.

June 1992--The NIH director approved creation of the Office of Information Resources Management in OD.

Dr. Frank Hartel is selected as NIH senior IRM official and director of OIRM.

September 1993--The ISSO committee is established to handle NIH IT security issues.

January 1994--DCRT celebrated its 30th anniversary.

February 1994--To help customers obtain computer-related information, a help desk was inaugurated.

October 1994--OIRM sponsors the first Internet Conference on legal and policy issues related to the increased use of Internet resources at NIH.

May 1995--Internet Expo Day helped NIH staff discover the World Wide Web and its enormous potential to disseminate and exchange information.

June 1995--The NIH director approved a revised charter for the IRM council and increased its role in providing management leadership on NIH-wide information technology initiatives.

July 1995--OIRM, the NSF, and World Wide Web Federal Consortium sponsor a Federal webmaster workshop on legal, ethical, and security issues related to increase Web use by Federal agencies.

August 1995--The first NIH electronic store was established to provide efficient acquisition of personal comuters, hardware, software, and online components by NIH’ers.

May 1996--The IRM council established the NIH Year 2000 Work Group (Y2K) to provide NIH with leadership and direction on initiatives modifying computer systems and applications to accommodate problems related to a two-digit date field.

June 1996--NIH’s Computer Center was designated as a major DHHS data center.

July 1996--The NIH Data Warehouse, which provides a one-stop-shop graphical user interface to NIH administrative and accounting, was introduced to NIH.

The telecommunications committee was established to provide the IRM council with advice about crosscutting telecommunication issues affecting a large number of NIH staff. These include telephone features and services, pagers, cellular services, video teleconferencing, remote access, audio conferencing, and swichboard operator services. Responsibilities are shared by DCRT and the Telecommunications Branch located in NIH’s Office of Research Services.

August 1996—The Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (ITMRA, also known as Clinger-Cohen Act) became effective. ITMRA assigns overall responsibility for the acquisition and management of government IT resources to the director, Office of Management and Budget. Additionally, it gives authority to heads of executive agencies to acquire IT resources and directs agencies to appoint a chief information officer to provide advice to each agency on the effective management of IT investments.

NIH director appointed Anthony Itteilag, NIH deputy director for management, to serve as interim NIH CIO.

September 1996—The NIH director’s leadership forum on the management of IT at NIH forms an IT central ommittee (ITCC) to provide recommendations on improving the management for NIH IT resources.

December 1996--The final ITCC report was submitted to the NIH director. The report recommends appointing a CIO and combining DCRT, OIRM, and TCB into a single organizational structure.

Dona R. Lenkin was appointed to serve as OIRM acting director and alternate NIH CIO.

May 1997--DCRT sponsored Web Information Day--"Tools for the Web, the Web as a Tool." Open to NIH employees, the all-day program featured seminars and demos focusing on effective Web use.

July 1997--DCRT introduced the NIH Human Resources Information and Benefits System (HRIBS), a Web service that gives employees easy access to personnel data, including benefits, salary, awards, leave, savings, performance and retirement.

August 1997--Renita Anderson was appointed chief of TCB, ORS.

September 1997--DCRT completed consolidation of two HHS data centers--Program Support Center Information Technology Service and the Administration for Children and Families National Computer Center--into the NIH Computer Center.

The review of NIH’s administrative structure, conducted in response to a request from Congressman Porter (Ill.), was completed. The report recommended that the NIH implement the ITCC recommendations by appointing a permanent CIO and establishing a CIO organization.

October 1997--Vice President Gore awards OIRM staff the National Performance Review "Hammer" Award for the development of an automated security risk assessment tool for networks.

NIH’s first electronic magazine, LiveWire, is launched. This on-line magazine offers easy access to key services and computer information.

November 1997--DCRT inaugurates SILK (Secure Internet-Linked) technology to provide Web access to enterprise data.

January 1998--DCRT Acting Director Bill Risso retires.

February 1998--The Center for Information Technology (CIT) was formed--combining the functions of the Division of Computer Research and Technology, the Office of Information Resources Management, and the Telecommunications Branch.

March 1998--Alan S. Graeff was named NIH’s first CIO. He heads the newly formed Center for Information Technology.

April 1998--CIT’s OIRM sponsors an IT security conference to provide IT security officers and others with essential information for moving towards the 21st century.


National Institutes of Health