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Search Tags: Jared Serbu
A new call center, staffed by professionals trained to handle grieving callers, is among the first technology upgrades the Army has made in the aftermath of a management scandal at Arlington National Cemetery last year. Phase two will involve tackling the massive challenge of digitizing the cemetery's paper records.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, which processed a record one million claims in 2010, is still seeing claims come in faster than it can process them and expects even more new filings in 2011. Despite that, VA hopes to eliminate its backlog of claims by 2015.
The Army and Marine Corps are both in the early phases of deploying logistics accountability systems that will replace a collection of disconnected, stovepiped IT systems and processes that have grown up since the 1960s. Though the systems share the same objective, they were made by different vendors, prompting questions from one member of Congress.
Tags: DoD , Congress , management , Army , Marine Corps , Claire McCaskill , financial management , DoD budget , Enterprise Resource Planning , Drew Dwyer , James Amos , Senate Armed Services Committee , DoD Report
The Department of Homeland Security already has real-time access to biometric data maintained in the FBI's huge database of criminal records. Soon, agency officials say they'll be able to share similar data with the Defense Department. Biometric information - mainly fingerprints - can be shared between DHS databases and the criminal records the FBI holds at its Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia. DoD's database will be in the loop within the next year - among other things - letting customs and immigration officials instantly know if someone trying to enter the country has been on the battlefield against the US military. The technology could potentially come into play even if the Defense Department hasn't positively identified that person. That's because the database also includes latent fingerprints taken from improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afganistan. DoD and DHS say it'll be a big improvement over the limited information sharing they conduct now, using slow, manual processes.
The Health and Human Services department wants researchers and IT developers to use its vast storehouse of data to make new apps. And it's trying to make it easier for that to happen. The department has created what it calls a Health Indicators Warehouse - a collection of databases on health indicators, along with application programming interfaces built on Web 2.0 technologies. HHS hopes programmers will come up with innovative ways to use the information it's built up in its databases and make it more relevant and more widely available. The agency says the data sets available through the new APIs include 1200 different health indicators from 170 data sources. To get the ball rolling, HHS started developing some of its own apps using the data last year, as part of the Community Health Data Initiative. The apps, and the APIs, are available at health indicators.gov.
Federal IT policymakers say the days of agency employees having one cell phone for work and other for personal use could soon be a thing of the past. The same could be true of laptops. They're exploring the idea of letting federal workers use their personal devices to do their jobs, rather than segregating their work lives onto separate devices. The idea, according to Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is that many employees are already using newer, better technology in their personal lives than the equipment their agency issues them. Under the idea, workers would get a stipend to help pay for technology that they buy on their own, rather than agency-issued devices, and Kundra says federal CIOs can overcome the security challenges. He says as I-T needs continue to become a bigger and bigger part of agencies' missions, keeping up with the latest technology will rack up unsustainable costs.
Susan Lawrence, the Army's newly-appointed Chief Information Officer members of the IT and communications industry that the service is focused on creating an end-to-end IT infrastructure, eliminating structures that required soldiers to train and live on one network, and deploy on another.
Shay Assad, director of the office of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, told industry professionals Thursday that DoD would provide them with a clearer picture of what the Pentagon wants when it issues solicitations to industry. Past acquisition processes, he said, had forced vendors to guess what factors DoD thought were truly important.
The Defense Department is looking to standardize the procedures its components use in source selection under competitive acquisitions. New DoDwide procedures issued this month will take effect in July.
Members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel are studying the Defense Department's proposal to increase fees for working-age retirees who use the military's TRICARE health insurance benefit. The panel heard, in separate hearings, from DoD officials defending the increase, and retiree groups who fear it is a "camel's nose under the tent."
Tags: DoD , pay and benefits , Congress , TRICARE , health care , Robert Gates , Stan Strobridge , Rick Jones , Niki Tsongas , Joe Wilson , National Association of Uniformed Services , Military Officers Association of America ,