White House launches ‘Write’ API for We the People platform

Just three years after the launch of the platform, which allows citizens to gather signatures on a petition for a certain cause, from the development of a Death Star to action on gun control, the White House announced Thursday the launch of an application programming interface to enable petitions to be embedded on other websites.

USAID establishes its first open data policy

The U.S. Agency for International Development jumped on the open data wave last week, announcing its first-ever policy to share its datasets and tools with the public on a central repository.

USDA announces more funding for rural broadband in states, territories

More than $190 million in advanced communication infrastructure, including broadband, is headed to several states and territories, the Agriculture Department announced Wednesday.

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.

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.

OMB grants DHS authority to scan agency networks

As the number of cyber intrusions increase, agencies have questioned who should monitor federal cybersecurity threats.

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.

The DATA Act journey is just beginning

More than four months after President Barack Obama signed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 into law, discussion has only just begun on how the administration plans to put the law into practice.

White House announces grants for college IT programs

A portion of $450 million in grants from the White House will be used to fund 25 job-driven education programs in cybersecurity and information technology through partnerships with private sector companies like Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen and SpaceX, Vice President Joe Biden announced Monday.

OMB ignores GAO’s software licensing recommendations

Following a report released by the Government Accountability Office in May that said federal agencies need better software licensing management, a new GAO report released last week found that all but three heeded the suggestions.

White House releases new open government initiatives

Criticized for his administration’s lack of transparency, President Barack Obama announced a series of new open government initiatives Wednesday designed to improve online accessibility, education and innovation.

NSTIC head Jeremy Grant wants to kill passwords

I may have been a little hasty last week when I predicted that the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace may “never see the light of day,” and this week NSTIC head Jeremy Grant let me know it.

Assessing the VanRoekel digital legacy

From the Digital Government Strategy to bringing increased transparency to IT investments through the PortfolioStat initiative, former U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel is credited with giving the federal government its “permission slip to innovate.” But questions remain about whether the former Microsoft executive was aggressive enough in transforming government.

NSTIC is moving forward, but does it even have a chance?

How would the implementation of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace actually work, or could it even work?

Todd Park could be subpoenaed to testify on Healthcare.gov breach

He may not be the chief technology officer of the U.S. anymore, but Todd Park, the technology lead under President Obama during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last year, is already wanted back in Washington to answer for a recent breach of the Healthcare.gov website.

Field of Dreams: Data.gov’s half-decade transition

When Data.gov was established in 2009, it was considered an experiment in open government. Now, with more than half a million unique data resources on the website, it’s transitioned into a proactive resource for data enthusiasts, public and private alike. “We work hard to push as much data up and out and to try to be as responsive and proactively go out and work with communities around the country and around the world,” Jeanne Holm, Data.gov’s evangelist, told FedScoop. “[Over time] we just worked really hard to take it as far as we could.” Holm, who also works as the…

Ms. Smith goes to Washington

Now that the White House has confirmed Megan Smith will take over as the next U.S. chief technology officer, industry leaders and analysts wonder how the former Google vice president will fare in the bureaucracy of the federal government.

Could another Google employee be White House bound?

Just a week after the White House officially announced that U.S. chief technology officer Todd Park would be leaving the position and moving back to California, Fortune Magazine is reporting that Google’s Megan Smith will succeed him.

Obama proposes 1 percent pay raise for federal employees

President Obama last week proposed raising wages for civilian federal employees by at least one percent in 2015, a move that could prevent a higher increase from taking effect automatically under federal law.

White House looks to case studies to increase value of innovation investments

From NASA’s private sector competitions to promote the future of commercial space travel to the Department of Veterans Affairs’s invitation for ideas to ease restrictions on nontraditional contractors, the White House released a new document Aug. 21 jointly produced by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy highlighting an array of innovative contracting case studies in federal government.

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