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CIO Crossroads: Federal IT in the COVID Crisis – VA Edition

Federal IT has taken the ultimate stress test during the COVID-19 pandemic – and has withstood the strain. Fortified by ongoing modernization efforts, agency CIOs and their teams have ensured the delivery of vital government services during unprecedented crisis. As the new normal paves the road to recovery, MeriTalk is chronicling those success stories. Today, we go into the eye of the storm with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the second-largest Federal agency and largest civil agency.

Recent News
  1. DHS Homeland Security DHS Exploring Tech to Monitor Social Media for Election Interference

    DHS is accepting quotations in response to the request through July 10.

  2. Pentagon Military Defense DoD DoD Touts Supply Chain, Security Benefits of Zero Trust

    At the Department of Defense (DoD), emphasizing a zero-trust security model is helping the agency overcome common security mishaps, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Modernization Mark Lewis shared.

  1. Universities Announce Support for National AI Research Cloud

    A group of prominent U.S.-based universities announced their support for the bicameral, bipartisan National AI Research Resource Task Force Act.

  2. USAID’s Tracker Tool Helping Overseas Personnel During Pandemic

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has had to move quickly to support American staff abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. SBA, State Officials Hail Cloud’s Impact on Mobile Work

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been far-reaching within the Federal government – not only requiring agencies to shift services online, but also to enable employees to work from home en masse.

  4. EPA Environmental Protection Agency EPA Phase One Reopening Marks Return of Political Leadership

    As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its “extensive, transparent, data-driven, measured and deliberate approach” to reopening its regional and National Capital Region offices, a spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk that political leadership has returned to on-site work.

  1. NAPA Launches Election Integrity Initiative

    The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) launched a new initiative on June 23 to advise state, local, and Federal governments on protecting electoral integrity and enhancing voter participation.

  2. Federal CIO Kent Rings in Pandemic as ‘New Era’ of Modernization

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and many agencies maintain telework status, outgoing Federal CIO Suzette Kent called the current moment a “marker of a new era” in IT modernization and digital capabilities. 

  3. House Armed Services Committee Presses on With NDAA Markup

    The House Armed Services Committee spent Wednesday compiling its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a process that could continue into the late evening or tomorrow if necessary, said the committee’s chairman.

  4. OMB Nominee Favors Budget Rule Change to Advance IT Modernization

    The nominee to be the next deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told a Senate panel this week that OMB can help speed IT modernization in the Federal government through a change in budget scoring rules, and through pulling together best practices developed by the CIO Council.

  5. State Department AI Director Advocates for Data Lake Model

    Charles Chen, director of the AI and Emerging Technology Office at the Department of State, said at the June 30 AI in Action webcast that data lakes are “certainly essential for the success of machine learning and AI.”

  6. DoI’s Journey to a Cloud-Centric Organization

    For the Department of the Interior’s (DoI) journey of moving to a completely cloud-centric organization, maintaining cyber posture and developing the workforce is key to the strategy.

  7. Cloud.Gov, SBA Officials Discuss Cloud as a Modernization Enabler

    Both Small Business Administration (SBA) CTO Sanjay Gupta and Eddie Tejeda, Director of Cloud.Gov at the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Technology Transformation Services (TTS) organization,  agreed this week that a solid cloud foundation can enable future IT modernization or other technical transformation.

  8. Solving the Data Collaboration Puzzle with Snowflake, Talend

    The ability to generate new value through collaborative sharing and analysis of ever-growing data streams represents one of the holy grails of IT modernization. Now that government and private organizations are investing in the requisite infrastructure to make the data-driven future possible, what are the remaining challenges?

  9. DoD Looks to Continue Telework Post Pandemic

    Across the board, Federal agencies have made a massive shift to telework in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, agencies are beginning to look at how to safely bring employees back to worksites. While the Department of Defense (DoD) is taking a slow, phased approach, leadership is grappling with whether the culture of increased telework is here to stay.

  10. PCAST Panel Recommends Big Federal AI Funding Bump

    A subcommittee of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recommended on June 30 that the Federal government dramatically increase funding for non-defense artificial intelligence technologies in order to ensure U.S. world leadership in development and deployment of the technology.