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DoD, VA to pilot interface for new joint health record

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.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 12:52pm EDT

USDA moves trove of animal inspection data online

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.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 12:51pm EDT

Library of Congress streams historical music catalogs

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 For the time being, the recordings are from the catalogs of Columbia and Victor, the two oldest record companies in the world.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 12:47pm EDT

Army deploys digital classrooms

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.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 12:46pm EDT

USPS promotes high-tech mail

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.

Tags: technology , Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 12:46pm EDT

IRS head apologizes to ID theft victims

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.

Tags: management , Congress , IRS , GAO , Douglas Shulman , Jim White , Edolphus Towns , identity theft , information security ,

Friday - 06/03/2011, 08:29am EDT

IT is DHS's next challenge for better intel sharing

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.

Tags: DHS , Congress , management , information sharing , technology , Caryn Wagner , House Homeland Security ,

Thursday - 06/02/2011, 07:28am EDT

Lawmakers mull new cyber powers for FERC

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 ,

Wednesday - 06/01/2011, 07:07am EDT

Defense bill nudges toward outsourcing

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 ,

Monday - 05/30/2011, 11:14am EDT

CIOs cite struggles with agile development

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.

Tags: technology , industry , management , Vivek Kundra , OMB , IT management reforms , agile development , AFCEA , CBP , VA , DoD , Kenneth Ritchhart , Stephen Warren , Teri Takai ,

Friday - 05/27/2011, 08:09am EDT
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