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- Health IT: A Policy Change Agent
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- One Step to the Cloud, Two Steps Toward Innovation
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Search Tags: Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology
The Defense Department is sponsoring a new challenge that it hopes will serve two purposes - getting its future workforce better educated on science, technology, engineering and math, and coming up with innovative ways to use mobile technology in DoD. The challenge runs through June. The Pentagon wants mobile app developers to submit entries designed to help overcome common misconceptions in science. The contest is sponsored by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, a research and development office within DoD.
Dashboards are all the rage on federal websites these days. At the Federal Communications Commission, they're letting website visitors create and customize their own. The MyFCC tool is still in the beta testing stage, but the idea is to let users choose from a menu of widgets that tap into the FCC's most commonly requested data sources to build a custom dashboard. There are about two dozen widgets available as of now. And, the FCC is letting users log with credentials from third parties like Google or Facebook so they have one fewer password to remember.
The Army is preparing to publish a new set of standards that will dictate what technology is allowed to operate on its network. Officials say the integrated network baseline will let the service do a better job of keeping up with the technology cycle by adopting, common, open standards, without dictating precisely what technologies they'll allow. The Army also plans to require any vendors who want to participate in its huge Network Integration Evaluation to comply with the baseline.
Our first ever Federal News Radio Discussion features Sajeel Ahmed, Director of the Pentagon Renovation & Construction Program Office; Tim Vigotsky, former Director of the National Business Center at the Interior Department; and Charles Matta, Director for Strategic Programs in the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service. All are experts on the subject of building renovation and IT transformation.
Los Angeles Air Force base is about to become the first federal facility that relies almost entirely on electric vehicle technology for its fleet. Within the next year, the Air Force will replace virtually all the vehicles on the base with plug-in electric technology. The only exceptions are emergency and security vehicles. The Air Force says the vehicles will not only get their power from the electric grid, but they'll be able to supply power back to the base in the event of an outage. The Pentagon plans to use the project as a test bed before it starts a large scale integration of electric vehicles into the Defense Department
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is laying the foundation for what could eventually become a nationwide, interoperable network of emergency communications for the nation's first responders. The 4G network would replace a hodgepodge of proprietary, local radio systems that can't communicate with each other, and don't have good data capabilities. NIST is asking for public comments on what the baseline features of the system should be, as they try to determine what capabilities are already available from commercial industry and which ones will have to be created through R&D efforts.
The Department of Health and Human Services wants to use information technology to give patients greater access to their own health records. The agency is proposing new rules that would allow Americans to get direct, secure, electronic access to their own test results, directly from laboratories. HHS is also creating a template for electronic personal health records. The idea is to standardize the information in simple way, similar to nutrition facts labels. HHS thinks they'll help build public trust in the systems set up by personal health record companies.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is about to begin its transition to an electronic application environment. Up until now, the agency has relied almost entirely on paper based systems for applications for citizenship, visas and other immigration matters. By the end of the year, they'll start rolling out a digital system that handles forms dealing with adjustments to immigration status. USCIS intends to add on new capabilities in six month increments, eventually building up to an all-electronic system.
The Agriculture Department, the Energy Department and the Navy are turning to industry to try to leverage advanced technologies to produce a new generation of biofuels. A request for information they just issued says the private sector would have to match any federal funds the agencies spend. The three departments are willing to spend up to 500 million dollars to jumpstart an industry to produce fuels that could serve as drop-in replacements for jet fuel and diesel. The Navy is aiming to get half its energy from alternative sources by the year 2020.
What's the best way to use the measurements developed for government in the past few years? We ask a panel of experts for their opinion.