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Search Tags: Jared Serbu
Management leaders in the Defense Department said a dogged and determined end-to-end examination of the government's complex security clearance processes got that topic off of GAO's high risk list this year. That approach is coming to the rest of DoD's back office operations.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, issuing his second report on the status of the Defense Department's inspector general, said there are "positive trends" in the office he has previously criticized but he and his staff still give the IGs work a "D minus."
Proposed rule would require companies who bid on Defense contracts to certify that any former DoD officials who work for them are in compliance with post-employment ethics rules.
The Office of Management and Budget has gotten preliminary plans for regulatory reform from 30 executive branch agencies after President Obama's January executive order calling for a review of unneeded or unjustified regulations. The White House also is encouraging independent federal agencies to submit their own plans, but OMB has gotten just a single page back so far.
The National Archives and Records Administration has picked its first Wikipedian in Residence. The new position is designed to serve as a liaison between the archives and the volunteer editors of the free, online encyclopedia. Archives officials say their new Wikipedian, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, will help them collaborate with users and editors of the site to make the government's permanent record holdings available through Wikipedia, rather than just through the Archives' own site.
The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs will take one of their first major steps toward a single, joint electronic health record next month. The system's prototype graphical user interface will go online at a few selected clinics in Chicago. VA officials say they designed the interface by putting six clinicians in a room with a blank slate, and asking them what an ideal system would look like. The chief information officers of the two departments are meeting twice a week to plan the new system, which will take four to six years to fully develop.
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service it taking data that used to be available only through Freedom of Information Act requests, and moving it to an advanced, free online searchable database. The Animal Care Information System holds all of the agency's records on the people and companies it licenses to breed animals for commercial sale, research or public exhibition. USDA says the tool allows users to make highly detailed, customized queries and export the results to a standard spreadsheet.
The Library of Congress is using the Internet to provide free, online access to thousands of the nation's oldest sound recordings. The National Jukebox went online this month. It hosts more than 10,000 historical music and spoken word recordings made between 1901 and 1925. Users can select and stream the recordings at LOC.gov/jukebox. For the time being, the recordings are from the catalogs of Columbia and Victor, the two oldest record companies in the world.
The Army says long, repeated overseas deployments often get in the way of continuing education for soldiers, and hurts their chances for promotions. To help solve that problem, they've started deploying portable, electronic schoolhouses to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Deployed Digital Training Campus comes with laptops, Internet access, voice over IP, and customized Army digital learning courses. The units have been deployed to six overseas locations so far. The Army plans to have 50 by 2015.
The US Postal Service is using technology to make what many people would call junk mail a little more eye-catching to tech-savvy consumers. In what it's calling "interactive mail", the Postal Service is giving postage discounts to commercial mailers who print QR barcodes on their mailpieces. The codes can be scanned by a smartphone, which then takes users to a mobile website with more information about the product or service. USPS says it's part of a long term strategy to keep mail relevant as an advertising platform.