GSA’s open source first approach gives more software options, better savings

Sonny Hashmi, chief information officer of the General Services Administration, announced last week his agency’s pursuit of an open-source-first stance on software, one of many new IT principles shaping GSA into a more lean and efficient service provider. While some may question whether open source software will be as effective as its conventional, proprietary counterpart, Hashmi is confident this new IT model will put GSA in the best position to procure and develop software in the most cost-effective manner.

Agencies have big information gap when it comes to CDM

A SANS institute survey says the Department of Homeland Security’s CDM program needs better word-of-mouth among government agencies.

Has Google made NTIS irrelevant?

Before there was the Internet, there was the National Technical Information Service. But now that there is an Internet with virtually unlimited storage capacity and powerful search engines, some in Congress think it might be time to delete the NTIS from the list of top-level government domains.

AT&T to provide secure IP phone systems for State

From Podgorica, Montenegro to Kiev, Ukraine, the United States has nearly 300 embassies and consulates overseas. A new deal between AT&T and the State Department will ensure that all of them are connected with secure internet protocol telephony.

Anti-social: Feds wonder why social media companies drag feet on accessibility issues

The Federal Communications Commission hosted a panel of experts Thursday to talk about the challenges and ongoing need to make social media platforms more accessible to those with disabilities. But there was one group of representatives that was notably absent from the proceedings: the social media companies themselves.

GSA rolls out dashboard for Connections II purchases

Accessing non-classified government purchasing data just got a little easier with the launch of the General Services Administration’s Connections II dashboard.

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.

FedRAMP ready to move forward

Maria Roat, the director of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, already has “eight or nine initiatives” lined up over the next two years that are designed to help the cloud-standardization program reach maturity.

GSA wants to make tracking cloud trends easier

An RFI geared toward cloud vendors could eventually lead to the GSA being able to track cloud-buying trends across federal agencies.

State Department awards cloud-based video collaboration contract

The State Department is moving some of its video collaboration service to the cloud.

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.”

GSA joins FCC to bring Wi-Fi to schools

The Federal Communications Commission plans to distribute $2 billion in the next two years to modernize America’s schools’ with Wi-Fi connectivity through a continuation of its E-Rate program. To do so, the commission entered a partnership with the General Services Administration to deliver on that goal using the agencies’ purchasing power to reduce the cost of modernizing classrooms and libraries throughout the country.

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.

Federal agencies spending more, taxpayers saving more under Networx program

Use of Networx, GSA’s telecommunications program, is growing among federal agencies, while taxpayer savings have exceeded the agency’s estimate.

The coming invasion: Is federal IT ready for millennials?

The federal workforce is getting old. By 2017, more than a third of career federal workers will be eligible to collect retirement benefits. And that means the government needs to start thinking about how it will attract and retain the next generation of IT workers.

Commenting gets the ax on USA.gov blog

As of last Friday, the USA.gov blog will no longer accept comments on its posts, according to the DigitalGov blog.

Sonny Hashmi officially named GSA CIO

Sonny Hashmi, who has been serving as the acting chief information officer at the General Services Administration since January, has been named CIO.

Agencies find digital gov success by focusing on customers

The DigitalGov Citizen Services Summit hosted Thursday at the General Services Administration building explored many of the tactics federal organizations are using to bring their online presence and operations up to speed, but a resounding number of the representatives at the event referred to the customer as their main focus during this time of digital revolution in government.

TechAmerica releases updated cloud buying guide

TechAmerica’s first cloud buyer’s guide for federal agencies, released just three years ago, is already obsolete.

GSA awards 74 OASIS contracts

In effort to reduce waste in acquisition spending, the General Services Administration today awarded its long-awaited first round of contracts for the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services program. Through the initiative, dubbed OASIS, GSA delivered 74 awards to professional services vendors, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte and Lockheed Martin.

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