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Boss of GSA’s 18F Tech Team Steps Down

June 23, 2016 The overseer of the General Services Administration’s in-house tech consultancy, 18F, is leaving after two years on the job and less than two months after being promoted to lead a new tech unit at the agency. Phaedra Chrousos, the commissioner of the newly stood up Technology Transformation Service, announced her...

How Powerful are CIOs under FITARA? House Oversight Puts GAO on the Case

June 22, 2016 Top members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want congressional watchdogs to examine whether a landmark federal IT reform law has actually resulted in more powerful agency chief information officers. The 2014 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act aimed to turn around a track record of big-budget federal...

Senate Identity Theft Bill Tells VA to Stop Using Social Security Numbers

June 21, 2016 The Veterans Affairs Department has come under fire repeatedly for failing to properly secure agency laptops crammed with veteran data, including Social Security numbers, mistakenly mailing forms to the wrong people and other mishandling of veterans’ personal information. A new bipartisan solution? Stop using Social Security numbers at VA. The...

Senate Committee Wants to Know if OMB Ever Uses its Get-Tough Cyber Power

June 20, 2016 Since the massive Office of Personnel Management hack was revealed last summer, the White House has exhorted and encouraged agencies to tighten their cybersecurity defenses. But lawmakers want to know if the administration has also considered a tougher approach -- using its budget authority to enforce cybersecurity standards. The Senate...

IG: FEMA Mishandles Sensitive Information at Disaster Sites

June 17, 2016 Updated: This story was updated June 20 to include a statement from Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. After a wildfire tears through your community, the last thing you may be worried about is having your identity stolen or your personal information...

Oversight Lawmakers Demand Overdue Data Security Plan from Census

June 16, 2016 For the first time in 2020, the federal government will allow millions of American households to fill out census forms using the internet. It’s part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s grand plan to leverage technology in a bid to shave billions off the price tag for the decennial count. But...

You’ve Heard of the DATA Act. Now, Get Ready for the EDIT Act.

June 16, 2016 A lawmaker wants to use a Microsoft Word-like feature that makes text edits visible in an effort to inject more transparency into the legislative process. The Establishing Digital Interactive Transparency Act, introduced June 15 by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., would require congressional bills posted online to include a “track changes-style...

IG: Social Security Should’ve Considered Scrapping $300M IT Project

June 15, 2016 By the end of the year, the Social Security Administration plans to launch the first phase of a major new IT system designed to standardize the processing of disability applications. The new “core” project, which is expected to roll out between next month and December, is the first step in...

Watchdog Knocks State Department for Thousands of Zombie Accounts

June 14, 2016 The State Department’s unclassified computer networks are cluttered with more than 2,000 inactive user accounts that the agency has failed to properly shut down and which hackers could exploit to gain access to State's networks. Most of the inactive accounts have been dormant for more than a year, according to...

Lack of Funding Means Several Agencies Won’t Be Getting Digital Service Teams After All

June 13, 2016 For some agencies, an ambitious Obama administration plan to embed in-house teams of digital talent across government has hit a familiar wall: lack of funding. Of the 25 largest federal agencies slated for the effort, just three currently have officially chartered digital service teams. Meanwhile, eight agencies say they have...