Sonny Bhagowalia named Treasury CIO

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, the former CIO of the State of Hawaii, returns to Washington to take over Treasury’s $3.5 billion IT portfolio.

White House unveils executive order to strengthen financial security

In the wake of major credit card breaches at Target, Home Depot and J.P. Morgan over the past year, a new executive order from President Barack Obama will require consumer-facing federal agencies to upgrade their point of sale terminals to a more safe, encrypted technology by the start of 2015.

Presidential Management Fellows program gets high marks in survey, though agencies lag

Presidential Management Fellows reported a high rate of satisfaction with the overall program — but they were less happy with their agency, according to a new survey released today by the Partnership for Public Service.

NSF grants merge computing and environmental sustainability

The environment and the world of computers may be at opposite ends of the physical spectrum, but a new set of National Science Foundation grants seeks to leverage advances in computing to promote the science of sustainability.

New Mexico cluster to focus on unmanned and autonomous systems

As the number of unmanned systems in use in the air, on land and in the oceans continues to rise, recent action by the Small Business Administration will work to accommodate the potential for small businesses to control parts of that market.

Is the key to closing the STEM skills gap higher salaries?

Agencies continue to face challenges when it comes to attracting the best and the brightest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to government service. But could part of the answer be as simple as paying today’s STEM standouts more money? Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta thinks so.

Report: NSF is falling behind in supercomputing

As the demand for data- and computing-intensive research grows, a new study found that the National Science Foundation is giving advanced computing less attention than it should be and falling behind in its ability to provide those resources to scientists.

Postal Service seeks permission to continue grocery delivery pilot

Look out, Instacart and Peapod, the United States Postal Service might be coming for you. Late last month, USPS filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission to conduct a market test of a grocery delivery service. Dubbed customized delivery, the experimental product would allow the Postal Service to deliver customers food and other prepackaged goods between 3 and 7 a.m. in major metropolitan markets across the country. “Grocery delivery services are expanding across the nation, with businesses ranging from the nation’s largest retailers, to niche operators, to the popular car service Uber entering the marketplace,” the filing with the PRC…

UnlockTalent.gov starts the conversation on improving workforce engagement

UnlockTalent.gov — the Web-based tool to help federal leadership easily access and visualize workforce data — is officially available for agencies and departments governmentwide. While some early users are quick to point out possible improvements, the general consensus is that the digital tool is a necessary conversation starter for better federal workforce engagement.

Survey: Millennials are happy, purpose-driven in government

Millennials in the federal workforce may miss out on the perks and salaries of private sector jobs, but for the most part they are satisfied with their employment and believe their work makes a difference, according to the first in a series of reports from the Office of Personnel Management on the 2014 federal employee viewpoint survey.

Ready to cast your vote online? Don’t hold your breath

We do almost everything online, from banking to buying a house and managing our most private health care issues. So why will it take another 30 to 40 years before the Internet is secure enough to support online voting?

NASA wants to send your name to Mars

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Tuesday it’s seeking names to put aboard microchip that will be used on future Mars exploration missions.

White House previews data tools to bolster federal STEM workforce

At an event celebrating the expansion of roles at federal agencies centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management debuted five workforce data tool prototypes that, once complete, will help agencies bring more STEM-skilled employees into the fold.

Navy uses NASA tech to direct unmanned vessels at sea

By adapting a software used in the Mars rovers, the U.S. Navy can remotely deploy “swarm boats” to protect high-value targets at sea. The Navy said its biggest threat comes from small boats used in suicide attacks.

Title II or Section 706? Legal minds weigh FCC’s net neutrality options

If FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was looking for a clear answer to regulating Internet providers, he didn’t find one during a panel discussion Tuesday.

GPO’s email switch a ‘gateway’ to the cloud, CIO Riddle says

The Government Printing Office announced Tuesday it plans to move its internal email system to the cloud. The move represents GPO’s latest efforts to virtualize its operations.

NSF invests in the future of big data interoperability

NSF is putting its money — $31 million of it — on developing the building blocks of an interoperable big data infrastructure.

Agencies to pilot workforce engagement tool from Blanchard

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify the status of the pilots.  Three federal agencies are in the planning stages of piloting a tool from the Ken Blanchard Cos. that aims to shed light on what could be causing disengagement among workers, a company official said. It’s a critical question during a time when the federal workforce has been fraught with challenges, including sequestration, shutdowns and pay freezes. The tool, called the Employee Work Passion Assessment, aims to measure employee disengagement and dissatisfaction using responses to an online survey. Federal workers answer questions linked to a dozen factors — from…

Why NASA wants kids to 3-D print tools for astronauts

NASA launched its Future Engineers challenge last month, which calls on K-12 students to design tools that will be printed aboard the International Space Station.

Commentary: To protect that ‘kid in the garage,’ avoid regulating broadband under Title II

If the FCC doesn’t keep the Internet open, it will fundamentally alter the way the innovators of tomorrow think. And that will will kill innovation and creativity, argues Georgetown University Professor Maria Kovacs.

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