Dan Morgan debuts as DOT’s first chief data officer

The Transportation Department’s first-ever chief data officer, Dan Morgan, officially joined the the department to head its data expansion efforts Monday.

EPA isn’t keeping track of its cloud computing, IG report finds

The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t know how many cloud computing contracts it currently holds nor is it aware of how secure they are, according to a report from the agency’s Office of the Inspector General.

HHS identity card systems pose security risks

Nearly a decade after a presidential directive mandated that agencies adopt a common personal identification standard for federal employees and contractors, compliance with the directive at the Department of Health and Human Services remains inadequate, subjecting the department to several categories of risk, according to a report released by HHS’s Office of the Inspector General last week.

Education Department releases student data guidance

The Education Department released guidance for school districts Friday on how to keep parents and students informed about what student data is being collected and how it is being used.

Census looks to improve website, increase digital presence

Two months after rolling out a new website to make data more accessible, the U.S. Census Bureau is continuing to revamp its online presence.

Army explores 3-D printed food and pocket drones

The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts, announced this week it is studying ways to leverage 3-D printing technology to deliver food to soldiers and developing pocket drones to spot enemies in combat situations. Both efforts, researchers said, represent leading-edge forays into bettering soldiers’ effectiveness and well-being.

NASA wants help downloading data from Mars

The communications infrastructure that links NASA’s Mars robots and satellites to earth is aging and by 2020 may not be fully capable of supporting the agency’s mission. In order to keep scientific discoveries coming from the red planet, NASA is exploring commercial options to own and operate critical data relay orbiters.

Mobility leaders say mobile-hesitant leadership is hindering federal recruitment

A recent study from the Mobile Work Exchange reported potential governmentwide savings of $60 million in work continuity during disruptive weather and $15.1 billion per year in real estate reduction, both of which come from implementing a more robust telework and mobility policy. But for some trail blazers making federal government more mobile, the biggest concern isn’t the money but instead losing out to the competition in attracting a talented workforce for the future.

Problem IT threatens progress at Social Security Administration

After more than $280 million spent over six years on an IT project that has yet to be completed, two recent studies have said the Social Security Administration’s faltering IT investments could jeopardize future modernization efforts.

Credible intelligence behind TSA policy change on electronics

The director of TSA acknowledged Thursday the existence of credible intelligence that led the agency July 2 to require passengers at certain overseas airports to power on their electronics devices before boarding direct flights to the United States.

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.

USPS needs a strategic plan for e-commerce future

A new white paper from the Office of the Inspector General of USPS recommends that the post office examine some strategies to take advantage of that booming e-commerce market.

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.

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.

USGS 3-D mapping data aims to save lives and money

The Interior Department’s U.S. Geological Survey, along with several other federal agencies, launched a $13.1 million partnership called the 3-D Elevation Program earlier in July. Working together with academia, private companies and state and local governments, the agencies aim to develop 3-D mapping and enhanced elevation data of the U.S. for more accurate topographical representations.

Micro-virtualization security picking up federal steam

Federal agencies are beginning to experiment with a new hardware isolation method of detecting malicious code hidden in browsers, browser plugins and widely deployed productivity applications.

NTIA’s Strickling: ICANN oversight transition won’t harm Internet

The U.S. government’s transition away from ICANN oversight does not spell doom and gloom for the Internet, Lawrence Strickling said in a speech Tuesday.

Significant national security challenges remain 10 years after 9/11 commission report

A decade after the 9/11 Commission issued its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the threat from global terrorism may be more pronounced than ever, with major new vulnerabilities emerging in cyberspace and a Congressional homeland security oversight system plagued by duplication and turf battles.

Inside the Pentagon’s scaled back audit expectations

A memorandum issued in 2011 by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave the military services until Sept. 30 of this year to get their Statement of Budgetary Resources ready for audit. But the Pentagon quietly changed its game plan and is now working toward a significantly scaled-back set of expectations.

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