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Search Tags: Jared Serbu
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.
The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service offered a public apology Thursday to taxpayers who have had their names and social security numbers used to claim fraudulent refunds. The IRS is working to strengthen its internal controls to prevent it from issuing such refunds in the future.
Homeland Security officials told Congress Wednesday they have made major strides in sharing intelligence information as a matter of policy and practice. DHS also is exploring the possibility of a departmentwide intelligence doctrine. Non-interoperable IT systems, however, remain a major obstacle.
The House is preparing to once again take up legislation that would grant the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission new authority to order private electrical grid operators to take emergency action in the event of a cyber attack or a new vulnerability. The power would extend to bulk electric systems and parts of the grid that supply electricity to Defense infrastructure that is critical to national security.
Tags: Congress , technology , cybersecurity , DoD , critical infrastructure , FERC , National Electric Reliability Corporation , White House , Energy and Commerce Committee , Paul Stockton , Joseph McClelland , Franklin Kramer , Stuxnet , Barry Lawson , National Rural Electric Cooperative Association ,
Several outsourcing-friendly provisions made their way into the Defense authorization bill approved by the House of Representatives last week. The bill would lift a moratorium on public-private competitions via the A-76 process in DoD, and expresses the sense of Congress that DoD should insource only those jobs which are inherently governmental.
Tags: DoD , contracting , industry , OMB , inherently governmental , insourcing , outsourcing , A-76 , competition , Lexington Institute , Center for Strategic and International Studies , Defense Logistics Agency , Carlyle Group , Frank Finelli , David Berteau , John Conger , Redding Hobby , Dan Goure ,
Agency chief information officers say the road to more agile acquisition and development of information technology has some speed bumps, including misaligned budgetary and acquisition cycles, and industry partners who are just as accustomed to the old way of doing things as the government is.
Obama administration officials told Congress agencies are taking a more aggressive stance than ever in their efforts to cut improper payments. The White House has set a goal of reducing such payments by $50 billion by next fiscal year.