Browsing: Information Technology

DISA reaches milestone in quest to manage and negotiate cloud contracts

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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…

Agencies to propose billions in IT spending cuts

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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…

Social media user agreements could violate Antideficiency Act

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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…

Former VA CIO Roger Baker lands new role at Agilex Technologies

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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…

Report finds thousands of unsecure devices on Army networks

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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…

GSA reviewing impact of security flaw in its vendor system

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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,…

UPDATE: House committee to vote on IT reform bill

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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.…

GSA seeks industry input for cloud security program

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Federal officials are working to streamline the government’s security program for cloud products and services. A critical part of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)mandates that cloud vendors hire a third-party organization to verify they meet federal security requirements. Today, the General Services Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology must first approve those third party-organizations, or 3PAOs. Then there’s the task of monitoring the performance of the 3PAOs and recommending whether to renew or revoke their status. In a request for information to industry, GSA asked for input on how to privatize the accreditation process for 3PAOs. As FedRAMP…

Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker to resign

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The Veterans Affairs Department’s chief information officer told employees Friday he will resign, the department confirmed.   In a message to IT staff, Baker did not say when his last day will be and offered no explanation about his resignation. The DorobekINSIDER hinted that Baker may leave as soon as March 1. Here’s some of what Baker told employees: I would like to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication in serving our VA customers and our Nation’s Veterans.  Over the last four years, VA IT has come to be recognized as a leader in federal IT.  We have improved our…

White House to release cyber executive order Wednesday

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President Barack Obama will issue an executive order Wednesday aimed at tightening the nation’s cybersecurity. Senior administration officials, including White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command, will provide details on cyber policy Wednesday morning at the Commerce Department. Officials will provide an update on cybersecurity priorities for 2013, including information sharing and reducing cyber risks, Commerce announced Tuesday. The executive order is said to include provisions that will establish voluntary cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure sectors, such as transportation and energy, where federal regulators have authority to enforce those standards. However, the order could not provide liability…

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