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Report: USDA CIO Reassigned

August 10, 2017 The Agriculture Department has reassigned its chief information officer to a new position, Federal News Radio reported. Jonathan Alboum, who has served in that role since 2015, will be the deputy senior procurement executive, according to that report. A USDA spokesperson did not confirm Alboum's position but confirmed to Nextgov...

DHS Thinks Biometrics Can 'Improve Daily Life'

August 10, 2017 The Homeland Security Department wants to know how biometrics—fingerprints, iris scans, facial images, and other snapshots of a person's biological characteristics—can be used to help citizens, instead of just surveilling them. DHS has awarded a sole-source contract to the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Identity, a research unit...

Another Federal CIO Leaves. Here's Who Remains.

August 9, 2017 Editor's Note: This was last updated Nov. 17. The Office of Personnel Management’s chief information officer is stepping down after about a year on the job, an agency spokesperson confirmed. Dave DeVries, whose last day is in early September, joined OPM from the Pentagon where he was principal deputy chief...

The Evolution of Digital Government

August 9, 2017 Decades ago, the earliest digital government projects involved creating the first HTML-based websites for federal agencies so citizens could learn more about government services. Though the technology and platforms vary, modern efforts focus on thinking about citizens as customers first, and satisfying their expectations for government services. And today, more...

To Improve, VA Must Acknowledge Vets Can Go Elsewhere

August 8, 2017 Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin thinks the federal government should take cues from entrepreneurs and focus on what veterans need. At the VA, he’d like to see the agency ensure it’s “solving one of the problems that our veterans are experiencing or one of the problems the VA [is] experiencing,”...

Why Agencies Need to Know What an Authorized Reseller Is

August 7, 2017 A new program at NASA aims to make it easier for federal technology buyers to know when vendors are specifically authorized to resell certain products. Last week, NASA unveiled the new database for the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement governmentwide contracting vehicle, which has agreements with more than 5,000 original equipment...

NIH's Supercomputer Gets An Upgrade

August 3, 2017 The National Institutes of Health is expanding its supercomputing setup so it can delve into vast amounts of data about cancer, diabetes, mental health and other medical fields. CSRA has installed a second part of its Biowulf system at the NIH's Center for Information Technology, the company announced Wednesday. That...

If the FBI Has Your Biometrics, It Doesn't Have to Tell You

August 2, 2017 A new rule will prevent millions of people from finding out if their fingerprints, iris scans and other biometric information is stored in a massive federal database. The FBI’s Next Generation Identification system stores the biometric records of people who have undergone background checks for jobs, volunteer positions and military...

These Birds' Molting Patterns Might Change How Government Uses Drones

August 2, 2017 Drones are a critical part of the federal government's response to oil spills, especially in Alaska where shipping disasters have left wildlife covered in contaminants for years after. The unmanned aerial vehicles can track the spread of hazardous chemicals and also observe the creatures living close to the spill without...

DHS Joins Facebook, YouTube at Counter Terrorism Summit

August 1, 2017 The Homeland Security Department is working with social media giants Twitter and Facebook to combat violent extremism online. On Tuesday the department's Acting Secretary Elaine Duke attended the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in San Francisco, along with representatives from Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and YouTube. The United Kingdom's homeland...