After, White House creates Digital Service team

Less than a year since a small team of private sector digital technology experts attempted to save the flawed marketplace, a new team in the Office of Management and Budget will lead an effort to help recreate the government’s digital experience.

7 things Congress doesn’t understand about VA’s scheduling system

President Barack Obama signed a $16.3 billion reform bill Thursday designed to drastically overhaul the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs by improving access to medical care for veterans and preventing unscrupulous VA employees from gaming the scheduling system.

OPM finalizes phased retirement plan with little change

The Office of Personnel Management released its final ruling on phased retirement Thursday, allowing federal employees with decades of service under their belts to work part time while accruing partial retirement benefits, almost identical to the plan’s draft introduced last summer. Eligible federal workers can begin applying for phased retirement in 90 days.

FAA rule for model aircraft too narrow, commenters say

As the Federal Aviation Administration prepares to issue guidelines for how it will handle unmanned aircraft systems, the agency is tightening what constitutes a model aircraft so there’s no confusion between the two.

5 IT legislative initiatives that went nowhere before recess

As August begins, the inhabitants of the Capitol building are skipping town for five weeks. In its exit, the legislative branch left several IT bills left unfinished on the table and will have less than two months before November’s midterm election and about four months until the 114th Congress takes office to address some of the major technology issues.

OMB’s FY16 budget priorities turn focus to big data, Earth observations, STEM and more

In the 2016 budget priorities, OMB focuses on multi-agency research and development funding priorities, under which there is an heightened emphasis on using big data to advance agency missions and further scientific discovery and innovation, much like in 2015.

Reps. take new aim at IT procurement reform

­As the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act awaits action on the Senate floor, four members of Congress are taking a different approach to federal IT procurement reform. Introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., the Reforming Federal Procurement of Information Technology Act (RFP-IT Act) aims to reform the federal IT procurement process by making it easier for innovative businesses to compete for government projects and establishing a new office to improve federal IT accountability. Eshoo is a ranking member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee in the House Energy & Commerce Committee and co-chairs the Congressional Internet Caucus. One of the bill’s provisions would establish the…

Agencies showcase disaster tech at White House Demo Day

More than a half dozen agencies and just under 20 private companies met at the White House July 29 to highlight new digital tools to help citizens cope in the aftermath of a disaster.

Advocates move to make open data more beneficial to citizens

Exploring the social impact of open data, Maureen Ohlhausen, a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, and a group of panelists spoke Wednesday at an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation event about creating conditions so open data can be most successful.

White House: Here’s how to hold an open data event

So you are responsible for promoting your agency’s open data, but you don’t know how to get it front of people who can figure out good ways to use it. The White House is willing to give you a nudge in the right direction: Its Office of Science and Technology Policy has created a guide for anyone looking to host events geared toward leveraging open data.

OSTP releases plan for future of civil Earth observations

From checking the weather app on your smartphone to looking online for the water levels in a nearby stream, civil Earth observations — data pulled from Earth-observing systems — have become an integral part of how one interacts with the data of daily life.

Survey suggests federal network complexity is limiting data center consolidation

Is federal network complexity holding the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative back?

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.

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.

Energy Department offers $4 billion for renewable technologies

The Energy Department announced $4 billion in loan guarantees July 3 focused on U.S.-based innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects designed to help agencies avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gases.

OPM unveils plan to innovate the federal workforce

Key to OPM’s plan, explained Director Katherine Archuleta in a blog post, is focusing both on the workforce of today and tomorrow.

DigitalGov rolls out 3 new social media toolkits in quest for ‘social government’

As GSA’s DigitalGov enters its third year of existence, it aims to make socialgov “bigger, badder, better and bolder.”

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.

VanRoekel questions need for FITARA

Despite forward movement in Congress, current legislation for federal IT reform is not quite on the right track, federal Chief Information Officer Steven Van Roekel said during an online chat Thursday.

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