The Agriculture Department’s Flip Anderson is the only known agency-level FITARA director–an indicator of both the level of importance USDA has assigned to the new law and the resources necessary to manage the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act compliance correctly.

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No Category Set!

In the wake of a rash of fatal shootings of unarmed black youths by police officers, a 50-state, nonprofit cooperative purchasing group known as NASPO ValuePoint is about to issue an RFP for public safety video equipment that will include body-worn cameras for police officers for the first time. “We do believe we get better value through the NASPO value contracts by utilizing multiple-states buying power,” said Christopher Hughes, assistant director of the Utah Division of Purchasing. […]

No Category Set!

MeriTalk’s feature, a Q&A with prominent IT leaders, focuses this time on Greg Godbout, the Chief Technology Officer and U.S. Digital Service lead at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is teaming up with major technology companies to form the Small Business Technology Coalition, which is designed to connect small businesses with technology platforms and training. The coalition will include Amazon, Box, Facebook, LegalZoom, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Zenefits.

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For FITARA to reach its full potential, Federal agencies must dissect the real problems and attract stronger CIOs, Dave Powner, Director of IT Issues at the Government Accountability Office, told MeriTalk’s FITARA Forum in Washington, D.C.

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Despite information security progress, the IRS still has deficiencies in controls over taxpayer data, according to a GAO study that found insufficient controls in identity authentication, server access, encryption of authentication data, auditing systems to ensure compliance with agency policies, and access to restricted areas.

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Just 11 percent of Federal IT managers say their data centers are fully equipped to meet their agency’s current mission demands, according to a report by MeriTalk. The report, titled “Flash Forward–The Future of the Federal Data Center” and underwritten by Pure Storage, asked 150 Federal IT/data center professionals to predict and examine the future […]

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Two months after a cloud industry advocacy group published a scathing assessment of the Federal government’s cloud computing security certification process and took their concerns to Capitol Hill, the General Services Administration’s FedRAMP announced significant structural changes to the way the government will assess cloud service providers.

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IT workers are among the unsung heroes of the transportation industry, and cybersecurity is a growing issue, according to participants in a panel on women in transportation leadership, hosted by Transurban. […]

The Federal government is looking for ways to put the hammer down on health care data blockers and data hackers. As voluntary compliance isn’t working, Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, told a congressional hearing that she has called for funding to “put some teeth around” going after data blockers. […]

The United States and Germany are meeting to discuss international security in cyberspace, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection, cyber defense, combating cyber crime, Internet freedom, and Internet governance. The meetings build off of June 2014 discussions held in Berlin, which focused on collaboration in key cyber issues over the last decade.

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The fledgling cyber insurance industry may hold the key to improving cybersecurity practices across the nation, according to a panel of experts who testified Tuesday before a House subcommittee. “The expansion of cyber risks and the growth of the cyber insurance market are a tremendous opportunity for the insurance sector to lead in the development […]

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Increasing Internet access will be a key component to boosting Cuban businesses, according to President Obama. In remarks made alongside Cuban President Raul Castro as well as a separate forum on Cuban entrepreneurship, the President emphasized the Internet’s role in improving and expanding the country’s ability to innovate. “In the 21st century, countries cannot be successful […]

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is on what appears to be an irreversible losing streak when it comes to its annual cybersecurity audit. Last week, VA’s Office of the Inspector General slapped the agency with a “material weakness” designation for its information security efforts—the 16th year in a row that VA has failed the annual […]

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Federal agencies remain woefully behind on cybersecurity, according to the annual cybersecurity compliance report released Friday by the Office of Management and Budget. During the 2015 fiscal year, Federal agencies reported 77,183 cybersecurity incidents, a 10% increase over the incidents reported in 2014. Though the administration believes this increase may be attributed to improved detection […]

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Microsoft Azure was selected for a FedRAMP pilot program that will establish a high-impact baseline for cloud-computing services. This essentially allows Federal agencies to move more sensitive data onto contracted cloud-computing services, enabling the sensitive data to operate on the more technically advanced level that is already possible for low-impact data.

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HealthCare.gov had a rocky rollout, but future Federal tech projects could learn a lot from its trials and successes, according to Erin Bliss at the HHS Office of Inspector General. She testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee alongside Seto Bagdoyan, the director of forensic audits at GAO.

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Self-driving car manufacturers are moving forward too quickly, according to Missy Cummings, the director of Duke University’s Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. She testified alongside four representatives from the motor vehicle industry at the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee.

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The President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology released a report that suggests 12 current and future technologies and policies that could help older people live longer, more engaged lives.

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With telework on the rise, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is updating its guidelines for securing data to include smartphones, tablets, and unsecured laptops that may pose a greater weakness to a company’s security.

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Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the launch of the Digital Attache program, which will establish a network of digital attaches designed to increase and enhance digital trade abroad. The program will cover foreign markets including ASEAN, Brazil, China, Japan, India, and the European Union.

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While he was unable to address the Apple versus FBI case specifically, President Obama said he finds the discussion of encryption vitally important to national dialogue. “I am way on the civil liberties side of this thing,” he said Friday at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

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The government wants to be better, and technology is the way to get there, President Obama told a crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. The president emphasized the need for the government to advance in its use of technology in order to better serve its people.

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The White House is encouraging Federal software collaboration and improvement with the software draft policy it released on Thursday. The policy would require software developed by or for the Federal government to be made available for sharing and improvement across Federal agencies.

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a proposal for regulations that would restrict the ways broadband service providers can use customer data. The goal is to give customers greater choice in how their data is used.

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