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Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent

Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.

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Mapping Better Decisions At EPA

May 9, 2014 The Environmental Protection Agency office charged with taking legal actions against water and air polluters used to organize its enforcement targeting meetings around spreadsheets and graphs. Those spreadsheets detailed places with large oil and gas production and other possible pollutants where EPA might want to focus its own inspection efforts ...

Want To Pay Less for Drugs Under Medicare?

May 8, 2014 If you’ve ever tried to help an elderly relative find the most affordable Medicare plan, you know how difficult it is to estimate the cost of prescription medications under those plans. One company is trying to change that. The company, iMedicare, crunches through reams of Medicare and drug pricing data ...

Mining Federal Procurement Data for Companies and for Profit

May 8, 2014 Open data is often compared to a natural resource. What that typically means is that just as oil and gas form naturally as a part of earth’s geological processes, so data grows naturally from the processes of government and industry. The metaphor works another way, too, though, according to GovTribe ...

Cancer Maps Show the Power and Limits of Data for Public Policy

May 7, 2014 Technological advances in the past half-decade have made it much easier for nonspecialists to use specialized maps as part of their daily work. The Environmental Protection Agency uses custom maps to target pollution enforcement, humanitarian groups use maps to track the migration of people displaced by wars and famine and ...

Why Does the IRS Make It So Tough to Rat Out Tax Cheats?

May 5, 2014 We spend a lot of time at Nextgov looking at ways entrepreneurs can build businesses using open government data. Last month, the team at This American Life put together a great story about how one entrepreneur found a niche compensating for government failures on the data collection end rather than ...

Consultant Lists DHS’ Most (and Least) Annoying Contracting Officers

May 2, 2014 Bidding on a federal contract can be a chaotic process with requirements always changing and deadlines shifting. The federal contracting consultants at GovTribe are bringing some more clarity to that process, if not more calm -- and they’re demonstrating the insights that can be culled from open government data at ...

TechAmerica, ITI Settle Dispute Over Employee and Member Poaching

May 2, 2014 Two of the largest industry groups for government technology vendors have agreed to settle a lawsuit that claims the Information Technology Industry Council poached three of TechAmerica’s top executives who took several top members with them. The associations did not offer details on the settlement, which has not yet been ...

Trying to Limit the Collection of Personal Data Would Be a Lost Cause

May 1, 2014 Preventing companies and government agencies from gathering embarrassing or damaging personal information about you may be a fool’s errand, a White House panel on privacy in the age of big data said on Thursday. Instead, lawmakers and regulators should focus their efforts on preventing the dissemination or other use of ...

This Is Who Actually Enrolled in Obamacare

May 1, 2014 Of the roughly 8 million people who signed up for Obamacare health insurance coverage before a deadline earlier this month, 28 percent fell within the administration’s must-cover demographic of 18 to 34 year olds, officials said on Thursday. Experts said it was vital that a sufficient number of these so-called ...

OPM Innovation Lab Can't Say If It's Actually Helpful, GAO Finds

April 30, 2014 An innovation lab at the Office of Personnel Management isn’t taking enough steps to ensure its innovative work is having a real impact on agency culture and performance, according an audit report released on Wednesday. OPM built the innovation lab at a cost of about $1.1 million as a space ...