Commerce gives green light to internal GitHub use

The Commerce Department has given clearance to open source code management platform GitHub, allowing the department to use the platform internally as it builds open source software.

The Commerce Department has cleared code management platform GitHub, allowing the department to use the platform internally as it builds open source software.

“It is hoped that this will be a catalyst for solution development and user engagement in helping the Department — America’s Data Agency — tackle some of the most challenging and potentially impactful problems before us,” the department said in a release.

Commerce put GitHub through a technical review in May, examining terms of service, IT security, 508 compliance and records management protocols. Earlier this month, CIO Steve Cooper gave the approval to use the platform across the department’s various subagencies.

The department’s subagencies have been using GitHub to post code related to various projects. This clearance now allows GitHub enterprise to sit inside subagencies for internal collaboration.


“The Commerce Department’s announcement highlights an especially important use case for GitHub — fostering collaborative problem solving,” said Elizabeth Pemmerl, head of federal for GitHub. “Publishing a data set, project or request on GitHub means involving GitHub’s more than 15 million users in creation of the solution. Agencies at all levels of government can benefit from this approach.”

GitHub is used by 131 federal projects, including the Census Bureau’s CitySDK data toolbox. Pemmerl said projects like CitySDK show that GitHub can support “new and unique use cases” for agency missions.

“It is exciting to imagine the projects that could result from continued, expanded collaboration between Commerce and the open source community,” Pemmerl told FedScoop.

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Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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