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8:31 pm, October 21, 2014

Department of Commerce News

Todd Dickinson, American Intellectual Property Law Association

The Patent and Trademark Office has been going without a confirmed director for a year and a half. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) has urged President Obama to nominate somebody already. He thinks the vacancy "hampers the agency's ability to influence policy and make long term-plans." Todd Dickinson is a former PTO director, now executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what's going on at the agency.

Friday - 06/06/2014, 09:45am EDT
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NIST tells agencies how to get ready for continuous monitoring

The National Institute of Standards and Technology gives agencies guidance for continuing the transition to a real-time, dynamic cybersecurity.

Friday - 06/06/2014, 04:21am EDT

Todd Zinser, Inspector General, Commerce Department

The Census Bureau is doing a good job following directions as it prepares for the 2020 census in the face of mandatory budget cuts the past two years. Todd Zinser is Inspector General of the Commerce Department. He's looking at how closely the Census Bureau is following its financial guidance for absorbing the cuts and preparing for 2020 and can still see some room to improve.

Wednesday - 06/04/2014, 04:27pm EDT
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Vacancy at patent office 'untenable,' senator says

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Finance Committee, is calling on President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The top spot at the patent agency has remained vacant since former director David Kappos departed the agency in February 2013. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Hatch said the vacancy "hampers the agency's ability to influence policy and make long-term plans."

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 01:44pm EDT

Ron Ross, Computer Scientist, NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has launched a four-part plan to help agencies build more secure IT systems. NIST Computer Scientist Ron Ross, who guided a new publication on the issue, tells the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp that the same engineering principles that apply to bridges and buildings should apply to IT. That is, security should be built in, not added later.

Thursday - 05/15/2014, 02:16pm EDT
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Commerce Secretary Pritzker layers people, customer service throughout strategic goals

After nearly a year on the job, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is overseeing progress against five strategic pillars, including innovation, trade and management. She said she's trying to make sure employees feel connected to the vision and mission of the agency.

Thursday - 05/15/2014, 04:11am EDT
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Todd Zinser, Inspector General, Commerce Department

A key IT problem at the Commerce Department turns out to be a communications problem. A breakdown in information exchange caused the response to a possible network breach at one of the agency's bureaus to be much worse than it had to be. Todd Zinser, inspector general at the Commerce Department, tells In Depth with Francis Rose where his team started in trying to diagnose the problem.

Tuesday - 05/13/2014, 11:33am EDT
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Tom Karl, Director, National Climatic Data Center

The White House recently put out what it calls "the loudest and clearest alarm bell to date" on climate change. Its new report says global warming is a factor in changing weather from heat waves to bad allergy seasons. Much of the data supplying the national climate debate is housed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tom Karl, director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, spoke with Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about the work his agency is conducting and the data its collecting.

Tuesday - 05/13/2014, 09:30am EDT
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Agency leaders 'on a mission' to pump up employee morale

Federal employees are growing increasingly frustrated with budget cuts, stagnant pay levels and a negative perception of the federal bureaucracy, government surveys reveal. At a townhall event hosted by the Partnership for Public Service, the heads of the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Labor say they're getting the message.

Thursday - 05/08/2014, 03:37pm EDT

'Broken' pay system driving SES out of government

More than half of senior executives surveyed by the Senior Executives Association are reporting "low" or "very low" morale with their jobs. The problem lies with a pay-for-performance system where some supervisors make less money than the people they lead. Increasing numbers of senior executive service members are ready to leave the federal government altogether.

Friday - 05/02/2014, 12:49pm EDT

New report seeks balance between big data benefits, privacy risks

A new report from the Big Data and Privacy Working Group makes six-actionable policy recommendations for how the White House can address privacy concerns raised by big data technology.

Thursday - 05/01/2014, 04:47pm EDT

Dan Madrzykowski, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Homes and buildings aren't built the way they used to be, and when they catch fire, they don't burn the same way either. Newer buildings have more open floor plans and much more use of plastics and synthetic materials. Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Underwriters Laboratory have teamed up to educate firefighters on the modern fire. The course is based on a series of controlled burn experiments, performed with the help of the New York City Fire Department. Daniel Madrzykowski, a fire protection engineer and leader of the Fire Fighting Technology Group at NIST, told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp what firefighters learn through the course.

Tuesday - 04/29/2014, 09:37am EDT
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Inside the Reporter's Notebook: The funny side of strategic sourcing; NSTIC turns 3

In this edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities. GSA and SBA continue their ongoing quarrel over the Office Supplies 3 contract, and April marks the three-year anniversary of NSTIC's release.

Monday - 04/28/2014, 04:00am EDT

Holly Vineyard, International Trade Administration

The Commerce Department's International Trade Administration will open an office in Myanmar, also known as Burma. The country's economy, once virtually closed, is now growing at more than 6.5 percent a year. The decision to open an office is part of an effort to help U.S. businesses navigate emerging markets in Asia and Africa. Holly Vineyard, deputy assistant secretary for Asia at the International Trade Administration, explained to Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp why Commerce picked Myanmar for the first new office.

Friday - 04/25/2014, 10:43am EDT
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Edward Elliott, Attorney Adviser, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Patent and Trademark Office is making an annual program out of a successful one-year initiative. It wants to find and reward inventors whose products and services benefit humanity. Competitors in the "patents for humanity" program can win several prizes, including a fast track for their patent application. The 2013 awards recognized 10 recipients in five different categories. The agency is now accepting applications for this year. Edward Elliott, an attorney adviser at USPTO, told Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about the program.

Monday - 04/21/2014, 09:59am EDT
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Dianna Parker, Communications Specialist, Marine Debris Program

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has covered hundreds of thousands miles of ocean, and the plane still hasn't turned up. But the search has highlighted a growing problem in the oceans: giant blobs of garbage. The Marine Debris Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracks the problem. The program's mission is to protect and conserve the marine environment and natural resources. Spokesperson Dianna Parker says trash often gets caught in gyres.

Friday - 04/04/2014, 10:33am EDT
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NIST, DHS push for more engagement around cyber framework

Federal officials say they need help from Congress to ensure companies are protected under the law for sharing cyber information with the government. Officials also say building up the cyber workforce is a top concern.

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 04:18am EDT
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White House issues new tools to fight patent trolls

Federal CTO Todd Park and other White House officials unveiled a new set of initiatives Thursday designed to help businesses and consumers avoid unnecessary and costly patent litigation.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 04:05pm EST

Commerce CIO Szykman to leave after 7 years

Simon Szykman announced to staff today he is leaving the agency to work in the private sector. He said he has no plans yet and will stay at the agency until a new CIO is hired. Additionally, Anil Karmel has left the NNSA after serving more than two years as the deputy chief technology officer to launch his own cloud computing company.

Thursday - 02/20/2014, 03:34pm EST

Maryland signs cybersecurity agreement with NIST

Maryland officials have signed an agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to more clearly define the development of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in the state.

Tuesday - 02/18/2014, 01:20pm EST
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