Significant security flaws in Treasury Department, FDIC computer systems

The Government Accountability Office released two reports last week that detailed security weaknesses in two federal agencies responsible for large chunks of the country’s financial information. A GAO report released Thursday found that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has weaknesses in its information security controls that “place the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of financial systems and information at unnecessary risk.” The GAO released a similar report on Friday saying the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service — which is responsible for oversight of the federal debt — has a “significant deficiency” in internal controls related to financial reporting. In the…

Senate defense spending bill slashes IT by half-billion, uplifts cyber

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a fiscal year 2015 Defense Department spending bill Thursday that would cut defense IT spending by a half-billion and reduce President Obama’s military budget requests by $1.4 billion overall.

DOD stands out in software license management

The Government Accountability Office last week released a report recognizing DOD’s software license management plan as satisfactory in effectively meeting four statutory requirements set forth by section 937 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013.

Anne Rung nominated for OFPP administrator

In an internal email to OMB employees, Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert said if confirmed by the Senate, Anne Rung, currently a senior adviser at the agency, would bring “a wealth of experience” to the position.

Amazon files for FAA exemption for delivery drones

In December, Amazon’s CEO announced the company was exploring a drone-based delivery service that could deliver some packages in as quickly as 30 minutes. Less than a year later, the company is ready to take that plan to the next level. In a letter Wednesday to the Federal Aviation Administration, the online shopping giant requested an exemption under section 333 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act to operate an unmanned aircraft system before the agency’s official guidelines are released.  “Amazon shares Congress’ goal of getting small aerial vehicles (a.k.a., small unmanned aircraft systems, or “sUAS”) flying commercially in the United States…

House passes DHS bill to enhance social media use in disasters

Communication during emergencies has changed drastically in the past decade, evidenced by the use of tools like Twitter to spread important information during crises. Taking advantage of that shift, the House of Representatives passed legislation by vote of 357-19 Tuesday requiring the Department of Homeland Security to form a social media working group to provide guidance and preparedness for social media use should an attack occur.

Obama will veto bill if cuts to energy tech remain

President Barack Obama will veto the 2015 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act if cuts to technology-related funding are not removed, according to a statement released Wednesday by the White House.

Intelligence officials disclose scope of warrantless spying

Days after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its first ever transparency report on data collected by the National Security Agency under section 702 the Foreign Intelligence Security Act, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., published a letter Monday sent to him by ODNI revealing how thousands of Americans may have been the subject of warrantless queries known as “backdoor searches.”

FAA will not meet deadline for unmanned aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration will miss its September 2015 deadline to integrate unmanned aircraft systems into American skies due to significant technological, regulatory and privacy barriers preventing the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace system, according to an audit report from the agency’s Inspector General’s office.

The federal CIO as venture capitalist?

The role of the chief information officer in government is changing rapidly and nobody seems to know with any certainty what the role of the CIO will or should be in the future.

But Deloitte Consulting LLP thinks it knows. In a new report, “Tech Trends 2014: Inspiring Disruption,” the company says CIOs should think more like the risk-takers and captains of industry known as venture capitalists.

Senate moves to reform FISMA

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee took a major step this week toward overhauling the aging Federal Information Security Management Act, lessening agencies’ static reporting requirements and striking a balance between FISMA’s checklist approach and the emerging concept of continuous monitoring.

Senate Committee passes modified FITARA

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would grant federal chief information officers new powers over IT budgets and staffing decisions and reform federal IT spending.

Microsoft champions Internet privacy, calls on Congress to act

Tuesday, Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel for Microsoft, revealed how the Snowden revelations have had a tremendous impact on his company’s privacy stance, including one instance when Microsoft was the believed subject of a published Snowden document.

Joan Mooney, VA’s liaison to Congress, retires

Joan Mooney, the senior executive responsible for managing the Veterans Affairs Department’s contentious relationship with Congress and ensuring the agency’s cooperation with independent audits by the Government Accountability Office announced her retirement June 20, FedScoop has learned.

Every member of Congress now has a public email address

The Sunlight Foundation has created a way for people to directly find Congress emails without having to use their websites, via their OpenCongress platform.

Subcommittee slashes 2015 IRS budget

House lawmakers Wednesday moved to slash funding for the Internal Revenue Service to its lowest level in years, putting key IT and modernization efforts in jeopardy.

House committee passes Internet tax moratorium

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would place a permanent moratorium on Internet access taxes and other discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.

Budget pressures threatening IRS operations and modernization, GAO says

Taxpayer services and major IT modernization efforts at the Internal Revenue Service could be in jeopardy if the agency does not receive the increase in funding proposed in President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget, according to a new report.

The new crisis for U.S. intelligence

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged Wednesday that the private sector’s distrust of the government in the wake of the National Security Agency leaks has become a major national security crisis orchestrated in large part by foreign governments trying to advance their own Internet economies.

OMB IT Dashboard not up to par

The Office of Management and Budget’s IT Dashboard is supposed to be a trusted source for transparently analyzing the quality of federal IT investments and reducing duplicates. But according to a new Government Accountability Office report, the dashboard is not living up to the effective IT tool it is supposed to be.

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