Nextgov Podcast: How Not To End Up In a GAO Report

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Introducing Critical Update, Nextgov’s new podcast on emerging tech in government.

Welcome to the first episode of Nextgov’s new podcast, Critical Update.

For the inaugural season, we’re diving in to how federal agencies are using emerging technologies—from complicated cloud deployments to artificial intelligence, blockchain and more. Along with dissecting the tech, we’ll be talking to top federal leaders and innovators about how they procure and manage on the bleeding edge.

But before we look to the future, we thought it best to get an assessment on where the federal government stands today. For episode one, we spoke with Dave Powner, director of IT management issues at the Government Accountability Office, for a rundown on the state of federal IT and how we got here.

In short: It’s not great.

But agencies are getting better, and Powner leaves listeners with some best practices to make sure federal leaders can deploy the latest technologies without ending up in one of his reports.

You can listen to the full episode below, or download to your device from the Apple store or Google Play.

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Show Notes:

The GAO High Risk List, which are projects flagged for possible mismanagement or waste. And waste happens: The Coast Guard leadership recently had to defend a failed five-year health record project.

GAO updates Congress on how agencies comply with data centers, software licensing and other IT metrics mandated by FITARA. Here are the latest FITARA grades.

GAO also keeps tabs on federal workforce issues, such as the Department of Homeland Security cyber skills and diversity in agencies’ tech staff.