VA refines scheduling contract timing, sees progress on broad tech front

Stephen Warren, the chief information officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Tuesday a final contract award for a new commercial scheduling system will likely happen in January and not by the end of 2014 as originally planned because of “an extensive amount of industry feedback” received on the system’s performance work statement.

The CIOs of 2020 will lead with ‘soft skills’

Come 2020, a hard-nosed technical expertise is not going to cut it for federal IT leaders. Tomorrow’s IT leaders and the people who fill their vacancies are going to require business acumen and soft skills, like the ability to communicate, a group current federal chief information officers said Tuesday.

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.

FCC stiff arms NFL on sports blackout rule

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to end the sports blackout rule Tuesday, dealing another blow to an already image-damaged National Football League. Since 1975, local broadcast networks were unable to air NFL games if a home team did not sell out its stadium. The league stood by the rule as a way to boost attendance numbers, but the commission now views the rule as unnecessary. “It’s a simple fact, the federal government should not be party to sports teams keeping their fans from viewing the games, period,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “For 40 years, these teams have hidden…

‘Shark Tank’ meets smart cities at NIST’s Global Cities workshop

NIST hosted its Global Cities Challenge workshop Monday with over 200 people coming together to harness the Internet of Things to advance the world’s cities.

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.

NSF awards $17 million to make interdependent infrastructure more resilient

The National Science Foundation has awarded $17 million in grants to more than a dozen researchers at universities around the country to investigate ways to make infrastructure more resilient to disaster and disruption.

Reverse auctioneer FedBid slammed by VA inspector general

It started out as an investigation into one procurement officer’s interference with a contract review. But before it was over it involved an attempted character “assassination” and “significant measures to disrupt and deprive” the Department of Veterans Affairs’ ability “to transact official business honestly and impartially, free from improper and undue influence.”

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.

Critical vulnerabilities discovered in VA business portal

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been working to fix multiple critical security vulnerabilities in one of its major public-facing Web portals that links to a massive database containing personal and financial information on millions of veteran business owners.

CDC tries to disrupt public health education with video games

Video games and public health education don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but a disruptive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention event is merging the two worlds this weekend to continue fighting what it calls a winnable battle against HIV and AIDS.

FAA preps NextGen summit, but questions remain about drones

Until recently, the FAA has been subject to criticism for not involving industry enough in the rollout and planning for NextGen. The “Call to Action” summit, scheduled for October 28, however, is designed to reverse that trend and garner broader industry support to meet the 2020 deadline to equip aircraft with new avionics technology.

Can encryption stop the ‘balkanizing’ of the Internet?

Countries and companies around the globe are weighing if they should keep data within their own borders. Does that help or hurt the continued growth of the Internet?

Drones actually are coming to a movie set near you

In early June, the Motion Picture Association of America filed a request with the Federal Aviation Administration to use small unmanned aircraft systems while filming movies. Thursday, the Transportation Department granted its request.

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.

Postal Service strives to innovate despite 4th straight Treasury default

The United States Postal Service will default on a more than $5.5 billion prefunding payment to the U.S. Treasury, according to the agency’s chief financial officer.

Education’s Camsie McAdams talks about the importance of STEM

Camsie McAdams, deputy director in the Education Department’s Office of STEM, sat down with FedScoop TV at the first ever Tech Town Hall to discuss the importance of STEM in America.

Critical Mozilla vulnerability discovered

Researchers at Intel Security announced yesterday they have uncovered a critical vulnerability in the Mozilla Network Security Services (NSS) crypto library that could allow malicious parties to set up fraudulent sites masquerading as legitimate businesses and other organizations.

As commercial space travel approaches, FAA issues recommendations

NASA isn’t the only federal player in space travel anymore. As commercial space travel gets closer to reality, the Federal Aviation Administration released a framework of recommended practices for human space flight safety.

New DHS headquarters ‘a monument to mismanagement’

Two prominent House Republicans reprimanded the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration last week for mismanaging the construction of the new DHS headquarters facility, which officials say is more than $1 billion over budget and not expected to be completed for another 12 years.

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