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Watchdog: FEMA Needs Better Plan for ‘Cobbled Together’ IT Systems

May 10, 2016 The Federal Emergency Management Agency needs to switch from disaster mode and begin to think more long term when it comes to upgrading its IT environment. That’s according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, which reviewed the agency’s IT modernization plans. By its own admission, FEMA’s IT...

Attention CIOs, Stay on Top of FITARA Even During Presidential Transition

May 6, 2016 The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to stay on top of reporting deadlines under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act as part of their planning for the transition to the next administration. Agencies were also told to keep following cybersecurity reporting requirements. The directions came in an...

GSA Announces New Governmentwide Tech Unit That Will House 18F

May 3, 2016 Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the total number of employees to be housed in the new office. The article has been corrected and updated. The General Services Administration announced today it’s standing up a new technology unit to expand the work of its in-house digital startup, 18F....

New Bill Says Enough of 'E-Gov' Already

May 2, 2016 Is e-government dead? Perhaps, but likely in name only. A new bill that would eliminate more than 200 “duplicative” agency reports on a number of different topics would also phase out a handful of reports assessing federal IT initiatives. Among them: an annual report covering the benefits of the E-Government...

Pentagon CIO in Hot Seat Over Windows 10 'Endorsement'

April 29, 2016 Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen is clearly a big fan of Windows 10. The Pentagon is currently in the middle of a massive upgrade, planning to transition 4 million devices to the new operating system, which Halvorsen contends provides greater security, by next year. But an industry group...

House Oversight Committee Probes Social Security’s Vulnerability to Hackers

April 28, 2016 Leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are probing cybersecurity practices at the Social Security Administration, requesting an unredacted copy of a recent penetration test of the agency’s networks. Penetration testing, sometimes called red-teaming, refers to purposefully attacking computer systems to look for vulnerabilities that could be exploited...

Senators Call on White House to Speed Up Cybersecurity Guidance

April 27, 2016 The two top members of a key Senate committee are calling on the White House to speed up a planned update to federal cybersecurity policy. The current policy on the books, known as Circular A-130, dates back to 2000 and is hindering agencies’ efforts to transition to more real-time continuous...

Tech Industry Lines up Behind IT Modernization Fund Proposal

April 26, 2016 Representatives of the tech industry are showing public support for legislation that would establish a $3.1 billion revolving fund to help federal agencies upgrade aging and obsolete IT systems. Signing on to statements of approval are executives from Northrop Grumman, Cisco, Dell, Intel, CSRA and the pro-business U.S. Chamber of...

Is the Pentagon’s Innovation Unit Too Cozy with Silicon Valley?

April 22, 2016 House lawmakers are worried the Defense Department’s new innovation unit is too Silicon Valley centric. The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, is a “helpful step” in bridging the worlds of traditional Defense procurement and small, innovative companies, according to the latest version of the annual Defense Authorization Act currently...

Lawmakers Want Updates on Pentagon’s Security Clearance Overhaul

April 21, 2016 House lawmakers want quarterly updates as the Defense Department builds a new state-of-the-art system to store sensitive background investigation forms on national security employees and contractors. That’s one of the requirements written into the House version of the Defense Authorization Act, the massive annual bill setting Pentagon policy for the...