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Jason Miller covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on technology and acquisition. He is also an executive editor at Federal News Radio. Jason's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.
In part 2 of Federal News Radio's special report, The Obama Impact: Evaluating the Last Four Years, we examine the success and change brought by five technology initiatives. We rated three as effective, one as having made some progress, but more is needed, and a fifth as ineffective.
Kay Kapoor leaves to "pursue other opportunities" after less than two years at the helm. John Goodman, who leads the company's defense and intelligence business, takes over on an interim basis.
Peggy Sherry, the agency's CFO, said when budget cuts do come they are prepared. DHS has been finding efficiencies in its spending and asked components to think hard about how they spend their money.
The acting administrator of GSA said he met with IG Brian Miller and David Shea after accusations the IG investigator's tactics were overly aggressive in looking into the recent SmartPay Conference. Tangherlini also expects to receive suggestions on how the CIO reorganization would work, and how to go forward with the reduction of FAS fees in the coming weeks.
The Select Committee on Intelligence member wrote a letter to White House Cyber Coordinator Michael Daniel asking him to make sure any mandate doesn't harm the networks used for interactive computer services.
Senate lawmakers and the agency's Inspector General say the strategy to reorganize the General Services Administration and make it more accountable is on the right track. Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said he will consolidate IT and HR across the agency, and reduce contracting fees charged by the Federal Acquisition Service.
The Office of Special Counsel found the HHS Secretary's remarks in February at a gala violated the law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in partisan actions. Kathleen Sebelius contends she didn't break the law.
John Owens, the Patent and Trademark Office's CIO, said the agency used to spend 85 percent of its IT budget on operations and maintenance (O&M) support and 15 percent on development, modernization and enhancements (DME) of systems. Now, the agency spends 50 percent on each. That change has allowed it to upgrade IT systems without additional money.
Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini will tell Senate lawmakers today about his plans to continue reforming the agency in the aftermath of the Western Regions Conference scandal. Along with consolidating CIO and human resources offices, Tangherlini wants the Federal Acquisition Service to reduce its fees. Federal News Radio has obtained an exclusive copy of Tangherlini's testimony.
GSA's System for Award Management is finding its footing after a rough start. OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan said he's watching the systems' progress carefully.
The administration is considering using an executive order to promote and encourage critical infrastructure providers to improve their cybersecurity. The draft EO, which Federal News Radio obtained details of, mirrors major sections of the second version of the Lieberman- Collins comprehensive cyber bill.
Gino Magnifico, the ACC's chief information officer, said his component is helping to lead an Armywide effort to develop a new contract writing system. It's not just a technology refresh, however. It's about improving the business processes.
September 6, 2012
Rafael Borras, the Homeland Security Department's undersecretary for management, said in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio, improvements to back-office functions show how interdependent the agency has become over the last few years. DHS is managing its acquisition, financial management and human capital processes through a holistic approach.
Over the last three years, agencies understood the problem better, improved how they tracked the information and used advanced data analysis tools to lower the governmentwide rate to 4.69 percent from 5.42 percent in 2009. While the amount of money improperly paid out hit a high of $125 billion in 2010, Danny Werfel, the Office of Management and Budget's controller, expects it to drop for a second consecutive year, below the $115 billion mark in 2011.
The General Services Administration's inspector general investigated the agency's recent SmartPay Training Conference and found no wrongdoing or elaborate spending. But the approach taken by the GSA inspector has left some at the agency uneasy. According to a draft memo obtained by Federal News Radio, tactics used by the investigator included a late night awakening and interrogation of the GSA executive in charge of the conference.
CIO Robyn East is leading an effort to create an enterprise data warehouse with procurement, financial and human resources information.
August 23, 2012
The department is trying to figure out the best way to manage the cards of contract employees after they leave the department. Every agency using a managed service provider for secure identity card issuance faces a similar challenge. Commerce also is working on integrating physical and logical access systems.
The agency said it will release a draft request for proposals no later than Sept. 18 for the integrated professional services IT multiple award contract.
OMB issued fiscal 2014 technology project guidance detailing the steps agencies should take to reduce spending across six areas. Agencies also must tell OMB how it would reinvest the savings into new or innovative projects.
The space agency gave Federal News Radio an exclusive, in-depth look at a recent IT review session on its enterprise service desk. With the program faltering, NASA detailed how it used TechStat to reinforce planned solutions.