Author Nicole Johnson

The Defense Information Systems Agency is one step closer to standing up cloud broker services for the Defense Department. As DoD’s cloud broker, DISA will manage the use, performance and delivery of cloud services and negotiate contracts between cloud service providers and DoD consumers. DISA announced Tuesday that it has developed a process for gathering and assessing DoD’s cloud computing requirements, evaluating vendors’ cloud offerings against contract requirements and has created a catalog for cloud services. In a June 2012 memo, DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said all DoD components must acquire government or industry-provided cloud services using DISA, or obtain a…

House lawmakers will consider a bill Wednesday that would allow companies and federal agencies to voluntarily share and receive cyber threat information with each other. The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence April 10 and will be introduced on the House floor Wednesday. A vote is expected by Thursday. An earlier version of the bill passed the House last April but lacked additional privacy controls included in the revised bill. Still, that has not satisfied the White House and civil liberties groups who say the bill’s current provisions are insufficient. CISPA…

The president’s budget will propose a 2 percent increase in overall information technology funding in 2014 to about $82 billion.  The slight increase is compared with 2012 levels and may mean that agencies will be allowed to reinvest savings from targeted cuts the administration directed last fall. The increased funding, however, seems to contradict administration efforts to reduce IT spending. Cybersecurity, innovation and delivering efficient IT are among the priorities expected to be outlined in the budget. More details to come…

Agencies were directed last fall to cut a combined $7.7 billion from their information technology budgets in 2014 and propose ways to redirect those funds for priority projects. Duplicative investments, failing projects, help desks and contracts for email, desktops and mobile devices are among the areas targeted for cuts, according to budget guidance released by the Office of Management and Budget in August. Details of the proposed cuts were included in agencies’ budget submission documents and were incorporated into the president’s budget, which is due out Wednesday. For each agency, cuts will amount to 10 percent of their average annual…

You may want to think twice before opening that social media account for your agency. In an April 4 memo, the Office of Management and Budget put agencies on notice that employees may be in violation of the Antideficiency Act by agreeing to open-ended terms of agreement for certain websites. You’ve seen them, the lists of terms and conditions that most of us bother not to read. The good news: If you don’t have contracting authority, then your consent on the government’s behalf isn’t binding. For contracting officials, however, that’s a different story. The Antideficiency Act prohibits agencies from spending funds that have…

After transforming information technology operations at the Veterans Affairs Department, Roger Baker has moved back to the private sector to continue serving federal customers from the outside. Baker has been named chief strategy officer for Virginia-based Agilex Technologies, a professional IT services firm known for its work in developing IT projects in smaller, faster increments, or agile development. In this newly created position, Baker will assist federal customers with IT modernization efforts and lowering IT operations and will also play a key role in expanding the company’s federal reach. At VA, Agilex has been a major player in advancing the…

Thousands of rogue Apple, Android and Windows devices found operating on the Army’s network could pose major security risks to sensitive data and Army network operations, according to a recent report. Army commands failed to report more than 14,000 commercial smartphones and tablet computers being used across the service for research activities, data collection, mobile device pilot programs and other tasks, according to the March 26 inspector general report. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., were among the locations using unapproved devices. Army officials at…

The General Services Administration has launched a full review of its key online procurement system, after discovering a security vulnerability that may have exposed users’ sensitive data. The security flaw was reported to GSA on March 8, and the agency has since issued a software patch on the system and is investigating potential impacts to vendors registered in GSA’s System for Award Management (SAM). “When we got the word that this might be the case, we got right on it,” GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini told reporters Tuesday following a congressional hearing. “And there is nothing that we won’t do,…

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will vote on legislation Wednesday to overhaul how agencies buy and manage information technology. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., introduced the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Act on Monday after months of circulating the draft bill to industry groups for feedback. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has expressed general support for the bill, which has since undergone revisions to address concerns voiced by industry and others. (Click here to view the revisions) Under Issa’s new plan: – CIOs at 16 major civilian agencies, including Veterans Affairs and Agriculture department, must be presidential appointees or designees and report directly to the head of their agency.…

Now more than ever, federal managers should be creating an environment where employees are compelled to collaborate and share innovative ideas, a senior administration official said Tuesday. “We’re going to need to have strategies as managers,” said Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator at the General Services Administration. Speaking at the Federal Managers Association’s national convention in Washington, Tangherlini challenged managers to use existing resources, such as people and technology, to improve productivity and drive down costs. “We are contending with a situation, which in my 22 years of service…is unique,” he said of the wide gap between federal spending and revenue,…

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