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2:39 pm, July 12, 2014

USDA News

USDA's APHIS makes way for mobile, big data

Gary Washington, the chief information officer of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said having a better understanding of its portfolio will ease the transition to new technologies.
August 15, 2013

Thursday - 08/15/2013, 04:31pm EDT
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HHS pacing its move to the cloud

The Department of Health and Human Services will release a solicitation for email-as-a-service this summer.
July 11, 2013

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 09:45pm EDT
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Coburn calls out USDA, other agencies on wasteful spending

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sends another letter to another agency on ways to cut spending. This is the Senator's second letter in June; he wrote to the DOJ earlier this month.

Monday - 06/24/2013, 05:53pm EDT
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Insect expert Linthicum honored for disease prevention work

The Partnership for Public Service recently named Kenneth Linthicum of USDA's Agricultural Research Service as one of the 2013 finalists for the National Security and International Affairs Medal.

Tuesday - 05/21/2013, 07:31am EDT
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Inside the Reporter's Notebook: The CIO shuffle continues; the last E-gov benefits report?

News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.

Monday - 05/13/2013, 06:14am EDT

USDA says furloughs not expected

Furloughs at the Agriculture Department are looking increasingly unlikely following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's request to shift funding and the department's ongoing efforts to find alternative cost savings. A USDA spokeswoman confirmed last week that the department wouldn't have to furlough employees in either the Farm Service Agency or the department's Rural Development division.

Monday - 05/06/2013, 03:57pm EDT

DHS, DoD asking OMB for sequestration reprogramming authority

Homeland Security, Defense and USDA are asking the Office of Management and Budget for the ability to reprogram agency funds to soften the blow of sequestration. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the agency must cut $3 billion by Sept. 30 and every mission, contract and person will be impacted in some way. She said the Coast Guard already is feeling the impact of the cuts in mission areas.

Friday - 04/19/2013, 05:50am EDT
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USDA seeks authority to transfer funds to offset sequestration cuts

Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack can move money in-between accounts within the same bureau, but not across the agency under a special provision called Interchange Authority. Vilsack has officially asked Congress for use of that authority in an effort to stunt the negative effects of sequestration at his agency. At at recent House hearing, Republican lawmakers questioned why more agencies haven't movasked Congress for similar permission.

Wednesday - 03/20/2013, 05:51am EDT
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USDA suspends some ag reports due to budget cuts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistical arm said it won't issue some agricultural reports this year because of automatic federal budget cuts, alarming some in the dairy industry who fear the information void could wreak havoc with milk prices.

Thursday - 03/14/2013, 04:10am EDT

CIO Council harnessing growing list of 'world class' IT programs

The CIO Council will add 25 more examples of IT project management excellence to its best practice database. DHS CIO Richard Spires said at the Excellence.gov awards Tuesday the goal of all of these success stories is to share what worked and leave a broader legacy across all of Federal IT.

Wednesday - 03/06/2013, 07:05am EST
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Coburn calls for partial federal job freeze as sequestration nears

The Republican senator from Oklahoma is asking the Office of Management and Budget to require agencies to stop hiring for certain positions. Instead, he would like that funding put towards mission critical jobs that could be affected by sequestration cuts. Coburn, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, found 10 jobs listed on USAJobs.gov that he believes could be frozen. He says this would give agencies $1.4 million to spend on positions like border security officers and TSA screeners.

Monday - 02/25/2013, 03:03pm EST

USDA's Forest Service taking different approach to mobility

Doug Nash, the Forest Service's CIO, said he sees great promise in using a PC-on-a-stick to let employees securely connect back to the network, save data from the field and do work from anywhere. Forest Service will release a mobile strategy and architecture in the coming weeks.
February 21, 2013

Tuesday - 02/19/2013, 08:49pm EST
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Employee unions march on Capitol Hill to stop sequestration

AFGE, AFSCME rally against the potential cuts from sequestration as part of their week-long legislative conference. Union members are meeting with lawmakers to ensure they understand the broader impact cuts due to sequestration would have on the nation and the economy.

Wednesday - 02/13/2013, 10:26am EST
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Agencies slowly knocking down cybersecurity barriers to going mobile

Through the Digital Government Strategy, several initiatives are underway to address IT security concerns. DHS created a security baseline architecture and is testing it through five use cases. GSA created a new secure online content platform for agencies to move websites and applications into a mobile environment.

Friday - 02/08/2013, 05:22am EST
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Federal Drive Interviews -- Feb. 6, 2013

Forrest Morgeson, director of research at the American Customer Satisfaction Index, has some good news for some agencies. Agriculture Department official Kevin Concannon says USDA is claiming victory in its battle against fraud. Jordy Yager of The Hill newspaper explains why some on Capitol Hill are talking about Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Tom Day, USPS' chief sustainability officer, shares news of the Postal Service's successful conservation efforts.

Wednesday - 02/06/2013, 10:28am EST

USDA work-life office promotes telework, other flexible programs

Mika Cross, the work/life and wellness program manager at the Agriculture Department, In Depth with Francis Rose for a far-reaching discussion flexible and supportive workplace programs, such as telework.

Monday - 01/28/2013, 07:32pm EST
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Napolitano, Vilsack to stay in Obama's second term

Janet Napolitano and Tom Vilsack will both stay on as cabinet secretaries in President Barack Obama's second term.

Monday - 01/14/2013, 02:32pm EST

Federal Drive Interviews -- Dec. 14, 2012

Khem Sharma discusses the Small Business Administration's plans to raise size standards for companies in two groups. Dr. Murray Lumpkin of the FDA talks about the close coordination between two countries. Stuart Delery explains how the Justice Department recovered $5 billion under the False Claims Act last year.

Friday - 12/14/2012, 09:49am EST

Feds file discrimination complaint against Forest Service

Multiple current and former Forest Service employees say they've faced sexual harassment and physical assault while on the job, and some have lost their positions for speaking up. Now, they are fighting back by filing a class action EEOC complaint for unfair treatment. The Agriculture Department, the parent agency of the Forest Service, says it is tackling a history of discrimination with more training and accountability as part of a cultural transformation program.

Monday - 12/03/2012, 05:00am EST
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Federal Drive interviews - Nov. 16

Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg explains why his agency had a banner year, with a record number of transactions in fiscal 2012. And a professor at the Wharton School describes how private insurance companies are making money off the National Flood Insurance Program but taxpayers are likely to pick up the slack when claims surpass premiums.

Friday - 11/16/2012, 09:47am EST
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