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12:26 pm, December 22, 2014

Department of Commerce News

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

Agencies highlight accomplishments, prepare for new performance goals

The White House will release an updated list of agency high-priority goals and cross-agency priority goals with the annual budget request to Congress in March. Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget detailed agency successes over the last two years in meeting current goals.

Friday - 02/14/2014, 05:07am EST
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VA adds, NIST loses senior executive

The Senate confirmed Sloan Gibson to be the next deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Patrick Gallagher, is heading off to academia.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 09:24am EST

IGs to propose cyber maturity model to better gauge federal cyber health

The goal is to more accurately evaluate the security of the government's computer networks and systems. These efforts could bring more consistency to the cyber auditing process and engender more confidence in its results.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 04:45am EST
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NOAA cancels hiring freeze, lifts training ban

Kathryn Sullivan, the acting under secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, sent an email to staff today announcing she was lifting the hiring freeze ban on non-mandatory training NOAA put in place last year to offset the impact of sequestration.

Friday - 01/31/2014, 01:57pm EST

Agencies settling in on better privacy controls

More agencies are recognizing the growing importance of keeping data private after recent information leaks and cyber breaches. The Federal Trade Commission is among the agencies at the head of the pack and is relying on best practices.

Wednesday - 01/29/2014, 03:45am EST
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Commerce reaps savings through collaborative strategic-sourcing effort

The chief information and chief technology offices at the Commerce Department have generated more than $200 million in savings by taking a collaborative approach to purchasing IT and cybersecurity products.

Wednesday - 11/20/2013, 01:39pm EST
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Agencies exploring the right balance between open data, security

HHS is using big data to improve the cybersecurity of their systems, but also using a layered approach to protect the information. Commerce wants to improve the governance and usability of its data. USDA is creating a big data strategy.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 05:39am EDT
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NIST puts finishing touches on critical infrastructure cyber framework

The preliminary version of the framework will be published in mid-October, followed by several months of public comment. NIST plans a final release of the voluntary framework in February.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 06:23am EDT
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