Browsing: Information Technology

Obama administration renewing focus on IT acquisition

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For anyone familiar with last fall’s disastrous rollout of the healthcare.gov website (and that presumably includes most of the adult population of the United States), it will come as no surprise to hear that the Obama administration is again working to get smarter delivery of information technology services. “We’ve learned a tremendous amount from the challenges the administration’s recently faced and have worked  diligently to address this past year,” Beth Cobert, a senior Office of Management and Budget official, said at a recent Association of Government Accountants gathering. “But we know that information technology is important to how the government…

Contract executive convicted in snooping case

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One morning in August 2011, the vice president of an information technology contractor for the federal government awoke, checked his BlackBerry and noticed something strange. Overnight, as court records would later go on to describe, someone had sent an email from the unnamed executive’s work account to a former employee. An internal investigation soon led to a federal probe by the FBI and the General Service Administration’s Office of Inspector General. Now, nearly two years after that unusual email, the former employee, Robert Edwin Steele, 38, stands convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., of 14…

Update:GSA cancels Oracle IT contract

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The General Services Administration is canceling Oracle Corp.’s Schedule 70 contract for information technology services because the company failed to meet the terms of its contract agreement, the agency confirmed. The company can finish work on existing task orders, but agencies cannot place new orders or extend existing task orders with Oracle after May 17, GSA announced on its website Wednesday. Blanket purchase agreements with Oracle through Schedule 70 will terminate on May 17. Agencies can still purchase Oracle software from technology resellers that have Schedule 70 contracts. An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment. “Based on the GSA’s review of Oracle America,…

Feds and contractors need to talk more, agencies say

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A handful of agencies are taking steps to improve coordination between program managers, contracting officers and contractors in hopes of delivering less wasteful, more effective IT acquisitions. The Energy Department, for example, is using a series of agency-wide meetings to share ideas on what’s being bought and what contracts are used in certain information technology arenas, such as mobility, open government and geospatial, Pete Tseronis, the department’s chief technology officer, said at the Acquisition Excellence conference Thursday in Washington, D.C. Companies can attend the events and network with the agency’s program managers and contracting officers, Tseronis said. But he has heard…

What would you ask the federal CIO?

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Federal Times is meeting with federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel on Wednesday to discuss information technology trends and initiatives. As a reader, what would you ask the federal CIO? You can reply directly or send responses to njohnson@federaltimes.com.

DoD launches IT exchange program

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The Defense Department has launched its Information Technology Exchange Program to share IT civilian employees with the private sector. The personnel assignments will range from three months to a year and focus on sharing best practices and expertise on cloud and mobile computing, infrastructure management and cybersecurity, according to a July 1 announcement. Private sector participants will work with the chief information officer, Joint Staff, U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency and other departments. Workers must be US citizens, be equivalent to a grade level 11, and lending organizations will pay the salaries of their workers. Secrete clearance is required,…

Former GSA official joins Alaska Native Corp.

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The Koniag Development Corp. has hired former GSA assistant commissioner Ed O’Hare to lead its Technology Business Sector, the company announced Wednesday. O’Hare was the assistant commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Information Technology Services at the General Services Administration before leaving the agency in January. The FAS IT Services is the largest fee-for-service IT procurement and services operation in the federal government, with contracts exceeding $22 billion a year. Immediately after leaving GSA, Dynanet Corp. hired O’Hare to oversee its business development and delivering services to state and federal government customers. Now as senior vice president of the Technology Business Sector for Koniag Development, a…

OMB sets IT purchasing guidelines for telework

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Federal executives have until the end of July to develop or revise information technology procurement policies that support their agencies’ telework needs, according to memo released Thursday. When crafting these policies, agencies must account for security risks and ensure that all devices and infrastructure meet federal security and privacy standards, said Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew in the memo. The memo directs chief information and acquisition officers to take advantage of governmentwide and agencywide contracts. Agency technology should provide remote access to internal resources and include the use of thin clients, where most of the computing is done on…

Carper calls on OMB to detail impact of e-government cuts

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Following up on concerns about decreased funding for the General Services Administration’s e-government fund, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., has asked the federal chief information officer to detail how this will impact transparency efforts. In an April 21 letter to Vivek Kundra, Carper expressed his concern for the future of public websites like the ITDashboard, USASpending.gov and data.gov that rely on e-government funds to operate. Lawmakers slashed e-government funding from $34 million to $8 million in the 2011 spending bill. The dashboard, which updates the public on the performance of major information technology projects, coupled with in-depth reviews of at-risk projects, has saved…

Takai lays out DoD IT reform challenges

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Teri Takai says she isn’t naïve about the challenges in executing departmentwide information technology reforms at the Defense Department.   As DoD’s chief information officer, she’s up against more than 7 million computers and devices connected to 15,000 networks, 772 data centers and IT infrastructure that is scattered across DoD services. There’s also the challenge of garnering support from services’ CIOs, who have their own pots of money for IT projects and programs. “It isn’t like I can sort of sit in my office and put a directive out and everybody goes “oh that’s a really great idea Teri, I…

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