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The future of scientific and technological innovation is in the hands of today’s students, President Obama said in his speech at the White House Science Fair. “Some of the best moments I’ve had as president have been with science and at the science fair,” he said. “There’s nothing that makes me more hopeful than seeing the young people that are here.” […]

Dave Powner, director of IT issues at the Government Accountability Office, profiled the upcoming agency scorecard on FITARA and discussed the Federal government’s continuing difficulties with data center consolidation and legacy IT modernization.

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The General Services Administration is pushing Congress to get behind a plan to establish a third service branch, known as the Technology Transformation Service, that would be centered around GSA’s 18F digital service organization and would actively help manage the $3.1 billion IT modernization fund proposed by the White House, MeriTalk has learned.

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Haley Van Dyck, the co-founder of the U.S. Digital Service, brought the U.S. government’s unique brand of startup to a new TED Talk. Filmed in February in Vancouver, British Columbia, and released this week, Van Dyck’s talk urged technology entrepreneurs to disrupt their government by introducing technologies most of us take for granted.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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cybersecurity

Public-private partnerships are at the core of President Obama’s new Commission for Enhancing National Cybersecurity, according to representatives from the Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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The White House launched its “Opportunity Project,” an open-data program that partners with public and private organizations and provides information about access to opportunity in cities across America. The aim: to provide all Americans with access to as many opportunities as possible, regardless of social or financial status.

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To drive down Federal spending and waste, the Office of Management and Budget has released its official Data Center Policy, designed to streamline the process of reducing the number of Federal data centers. By 2018, 52 percent of Federal data centers will close.

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President Obama appointed two industry leaders to head his Cybersecurity National Action Plan. Tom Donilon, former National Security Adviser, will serve as the chairman of the committee and Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, will serve as the vice chairman.

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Alongside the release of the proposed 2017 budget, the White House released its annual Analytical Perspectives of that proposal. MeriTalk spotted five important trends in the IT world and describes how the Federal government plans to address them.

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The White House is looking to fill the Federal CISO position in the very near future. The posting for the job, which is designed to establish the direction of Federal cybersecurity policy and strategy in accordance with the Federal CIO, closes on Feb. 26.

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President Obama unveiled plans for addressing Federal cybersecurity issues, including a 35% increase in the cybersecurity budget. But Tom Kellermann, Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Trend Micro, worries that the plan is “completely insufficient” to address the cybersecurity needs of the nation.

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The White House is threatening to veto HR 1675 if it passes the Senate, after the House of Representatives passed the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act that would not require most U.S. companies to file machine-readable financial statements.

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Ashkan Soltani, the former CTO at the Federal Trade Commission who joined the White House in December to advise U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, is stepping down after being denied a security clearance. Soltani played an active role in the Washington Post’s reporting on the National Security Agency surveillance programs leaked to the media by Edward Snowden.

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In a new report, the Government Accountability Office said some of the definitions provided to Federal agencies for reporting spending data under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 are inadequate, and “could lead to inconsistent reporting.”

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Shawn Kingsberry, who led the first Federal technology system, Recovery.gov, to the cloud, will head Unisys Corporation’s global government practice division. Kingsberry will provide guidance to Federal clients as they transition from manual and analog processes to digital government techniques.

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Will the Federal government’s embrace of Silicon Valley actually achieve anything of importance? In a column published in Federal Computer Week, Cisco Systems executives Alan Balutis and Stuart Robbins raise concerns about a government partnership with Silicon Valley that is in danger of producing little more than a few new shiny apps and websites.

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A MeriTalk survey finds that Federal agencies are in need of an efficiency jump-start, and 78 percent of Feds believe DevOps will help agencies innovate faster responses and services. Legacy systems are slowing agencies down, and new apps just add to the inertia.

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The Government Accountability Office, in a new report, said the Small Business Administration needs to do more to upgrade IT security. The SBA, which hands out billions in loan guarantees to small businesses, said it has fixed more than 30 recommendations.

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President Barack Obama is directing the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to deliver a strategy within 90 days that will expedite the deployment of modern technologies that could help keep children, criminals, and the mentally ill away from guns.

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