The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a little-known contract Tuesday for virtual reality software that could one day have a dramatic impact on the ability of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to deal with the various symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. In a relatively small contract of just $77,496, the VA partnered with the […] […]

The Internet of Things freaks out the military. In remarks this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Richard Hale, deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Defense Department, discussed the military’s interest in–and concern over–the Internet of Things. “We in the department really need the advantage we’re going to get from […] […]

This article originally appeared Nov. 10 as a LinkedIn post and is printed here with the permission of the author. In late June, I was honored to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on the recent Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breaches. My testimony focused on the broader […] […]

Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Information Officer LaVerne Council announced Nov. 6 that Brian Burns has accepted an offer to become the agency’s next chief information security officer. Burns takes over for Dan Galik, who has served as acting CISO since Stan Lowe retired in August. Burns will also continue in his role as deputy […] […]

The cloud is becoming a popular tool for businesses across the country, with 88 percent of enterprises saying cloud improves responsiveness to business needs, 69 percent saying it has enabled them to re-engineer one or more of their business processes, and 65 percent saying it improves overall operations, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ 2016 State […] […]

Ashley Mahan can add “evangelist” to her resume. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) named her its “agency evangelist” on Oct. 21. Mahan’s familiarity with Federal IT and cloud computing make her an obvious choice to spread the gospel of cloud computing and sing FedRAMP’s praises to an increasingly receptive congregation of Federal […] […]

Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Director Matt Goodrich on Thursday said the cloud security program has established a solid foundation, but that the program needs to determine whether changes are necessary so it can continue to mature. “If we were on an S-curve, we’re still on our first S-curve,” Goodrich said. “We (have) […] […]

Federal agencies are embracing more cloud deployment models as they become more comfortable with cloud computing and their options multiply. “Our default is absolutely public cloud,” said John Skudlarek, deputy chief information officer (CIO) at the Federal Communications Commission. “We get the scalability we want. We get the flexibility we want, and most importantly we […] […]

The U.S. Census Bureau is running out of time to upgrade its IT systems ahead of the 2020 head count and could save $1.4 billion by using administrative records instead of foot soldiers that go door-to-door to find nonresponders, the Government Accountability Office says in two new reports. Enough is enough, the report says as […] […]

Big data and analytics hold great promise for improving the performance of Federal agencies and services. But leveraging data to improve agency operations while also maintaining security is not always easy. MeriTalk recently talked to Webster Mudge, the senior director of technology solutions at Cloudera, about how the open-source enterprise data management company approaches big […] […]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for two “experienced and energetic innovators” to help expand and modernize the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS). The two new hires?a software platforms architect and a data integration and management architect?would be part of the CDC Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program and would work hand-in-hand with […] […]

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday outlined numerous shortcomings in efforts by Federal agencies to implement reforms in the bipartisan Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). The committee issued F and D letter grades to 17 agencies because of missed opportunities to cut costs and meet other benchmarks. The […] […]

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) produced some good commentary from members of Congress and witnesses alike. Here are five comments from testimony and the subsequent discussion that provide perspective on the hearing. “I am so grateful to this committee for FITARA. I think […] […]

Before Third Party Assessment Organizations (3PAOs) can perform security assessments of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) for FedRAMP, they need the approval of a nonprofit in Frederick, Md. The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, or A2LA, isn’t a household name in cybersecurity. But with Federal agencies spending billions of dollars on cloud computing, A2LA has an […] […]

Almost every day, a news story appears about issues that affect the Federal government–shrinking Federal budgets, the low rate of employees’ job satisfaction, or cyber threats against its networks. The problems facing the Federal government are steep; however, the Federal government can better serve critical mission-support functions (think: financial management, human resources, information technology, procurement, […] […]

The U.S. military may find itself incapable of achieving decisive victory on the battlefields of the future unless it fixes its broken acquisition system and begins to experiment with new war-fighting concepts involving radical new technological capabilities.






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Editor’s Note: Richard Beutel is the original author and legislative manager for the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a landmark piece of legislation signed into law in December 2014. He is also the former lead acquisition and procurement policy counsel for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. This column […] […]

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