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12:48 pm, July 31, 2014

Department of Commerce News

Inside the Reporter's Notebook: Category management launches five pilots; more vendor past performance data

In this edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz about the IT and acquisition communities.

Friday - 07/25/2014, 04:51pm EDT

Bruce Andrews, Acting Deputy Secretary, Commerce Department

Secretary Penny Pritzker has big plans for all the data coming out of the Commerce Department's agencies. To lead this new open data strategy Commerce officials have created a new position. They're currently taking applications for a chief data officer. Bruce Andrews is acting deputy secretary of Commerce. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain what they're trying to accomplish.

Wednesday - 07/23/2014, 10:04am EDT
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New captain, advisers leading Commerce more deeply into open data

The Department of Commerce will hire its first-ever chief data officer, Secretary Penny Pritzker said recently. Pritzker also is establishing a data advisory council and introducing a "developer portal," which she said will help advance the agency's open data initiatives.

Tuesday - 07/22/2014, 04:28am EDT

NOAA faced with tough choices as hurricane-tracking planes near end of lifespan

NOAA planes used for tracking and forecasting hurricanes -- known as the P-3 Orion -- are reaching the end of their lifespan, according to a report published by the Government Accountability Office.

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 10:25am EDT

PTO commissioner illegally intervened in hiring

An executive in the Patent and Trademark Office was found to have violated several federal laws when she used her position to get a relative's boyfriend a job in her agency. The inspector general of the Commerce Department investigated the matter after getting a tip from a whistleblower.

Monday - 07/14/2014, 04:11pm EDT
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NSA revamps processes to more quickly approve commercial technology

The National Information Assurance Partnership, the U.S. implementation of what was supposed to be a faster, cheaper process to verify the cybersecurity of commercial IT products, turned out to be so slow and expensive that few companies could afford to go through it. But officials said they hope a recent overhaul in the procedures will breathe new life into the program.

Wednesday - 07/02/2014, 04:35am EDT
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Hail to the You-Know-Who Persons!!!

What happens when a tiny federal agency tells a man worth billions of dollars that his business is racist and offensive? It boils down to what's in a name, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey.

Friday - 06/20/2014, 02:00am EDT

NWS enlists help to spread message, improve storm preparation

The National Weather Service launched the ambassador program in February, and it now has more than 350 private sector, state, local, federal agency and other partners. The ambassador program is part of the NWS Weather Ready Nation effort to set an example of how to prepare for weather related events.

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 03:59am EDT
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James Franklin, Branch Chief, NOAA's Hurricane Specialist Unit

One of the most damaging aspects of hurricanes is not the storm itself — it is what happens afterwards. Both Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy showed communities were not prepared for the storm surges and flooding. This hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is rolling out new tools to improve forecasts and communication. James Franklin is the branch chief in NOAA's hurricane specialist unit. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive from the National Hurricane Center.

Friday - 06/13/2014, 10:56am EDT
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Steve Cooper's coming back to government as Commerce CIO

The former FAA and DHS CIO is taking a third tour of duty in government and will replace Simon Szykman.

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 06:15pm EDT

Jon Boyens, National Institute of Standards and Technology

It keeps getting easier to manufacture a counterfeit computer chip. Experts say federal information systems increasingly are at risk because of flaws in their supply chains. It is not just a question of fake parts. Genuine ones that have been tampered with, or are just poorly made, can cause damage. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is revising guidelines for agencies to help them secure their supply chains. Jon Boyens is an IT specialist in the security outreach and integration group at NIST. He spoke with Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive.

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 10:21am EDT
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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
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