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Search Tags:  Meeting Mission Goals Through Technology

GSA Platform Will Generate Ideas for Improving Government

A new online platform from the General Services Administration is helping federal agencies generate creative ideas for improving government while also improving openness and transparency, a White House directive. GSA officials say the Innovation Challenges Platform provides agencies with a way to lower the barriers for government's use of prizes and challenges by providing a platform at no cost that simplifies the public engagement process for both agencies and the public. It allows the public to suggest and discuss solutions to government problems. The platform is currently being used for AppsforHealthyKids.com. Director of new media and citizen engagement at the agency Bev Godwin says, there are a lot of different benefits that agencies can derive from such challenges, one of the most important being that they only pay for the solution.

Tags: technology , GSA , Bev Godwin , Scott Carr

Tuesday - 06/15/2010, 07:17pm EDT

Secure Flight Program Checking Air

Department of Homeland Security officials say 100 percent of passengers traveling in the U.S. and its territories are now being checked against terrorist watchlists through the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight program - a major step in fulfilling a key 9/11 Commission recommendation. Secure Flight enables TSA to screen passengers directly against government watchlists using passenger's names, their date of birth, and gender before a boarding pass is issued. In addition to facilitating secure travel for all passengers, the program helps prevent the misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watchlists. Officials say 99 percent of passengers will be cleared by Secure Flight to print boarding passes at home by providing their date of birth, gender and name as it appears on the government ID they plan to use when traveling.

Tags: technology , DHS , TSA , Scott Carr

Monday - 06/07/2010, 08:50pm EDT

STAR METRICS Promises to Measure Federal Science Investments

A new initiative promises to monitor the impact of federal science investments on employment, the generation of knowledge, and health outcomes, to a degree not previously possible. The Science and Technology for America's Reinvestment: Measuring the Effect of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science, or STAR METRICS, is a multi-agency venture that will be lead by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Together, NSF and NIH have committed $1 million for the program's first year. The first phase of the two-phase program will use university administrative records to calculate the employment impact of federal science spending through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and agencies' existing budgets.

Tags: technology , science , NSF , NIH , Recovery and Reinvestment Act , Scott Carr

Monday - 06/07/2010, 08:50pm EDT

DHHS Moves to Electronic Health Records

The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to soon provide an updated set of guidelines to the health care community, and to federal agencies, regarding the effort to put in place a uniform system of electronic medical health records nationwide. The Department of Veterans Affairs - which oversees one of the largest health care systems in the world - has been working to take the Department's VISTA health records management system into a new realm of upgraded open source software and hardware systems -- while meeting the mandate to become part of a nationwide electronic health records network. Similarly, Navy officials say they've been helping the Defense Department sync up with Veterans Affairs, and eventually with the electronic records in the civilian world, with the promise of better patient care through shared medical data.

Tags: technology , DHHS , DoV , DoD , Navy , Scott Carr

Monday - 06/07/2010, 08:49pm EDT

Satellite Launch Begins New Era of Explosion Monitoring

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced the deployment of a satellite that heralds the beginning of a new era of space-based nuclear explosion monitoring. On May 27th, the U.S. Air Force successfully launched the first I-I-F series of satellites, carrying improved nuclear detonation detection instruments built by Sandia National Labs and Los Alamos National Laboratory for the N-N-S-A. Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Ken Baker says the deployment of the new instruments will significantly improve the agency's ability to detect atmospheric, or space-based, nuclear explosions and verify compliance with nuclear test ban treaties. The sensors are being integrated on to Air Force GPS satellites, thus the entire planet is monitored continuously for tell-tale signs of treaty violation.

Tags: technology , NNSA , Air Force , Ken Baker , Scott Carr

Monday - 06/07/2010, 08:49pm EDT

DOD Implements Suspicious Activity Reporting System

The Department of Defense has announced it will use the FBI-owned and maintained eGuardian suspicious activity reporting system as a long-term solution to ensure access to appropriate threat information. The announcement follows two years of analysis and a six-month pilot program, and a recommendation this past January by the DoD Independent Review related to the shootings at Fort Hood that DoD adopt a reporting system for documenting, storing, and exchanging threat information. Those using the system will be trained with regard to the protection of civil liberties. Through its use, DoD law enforcement and security personnel will be able to share potential terrorist threats, terrorist events, and suspicious activity information with other state, local, tribal, federal law enforcement agencies, state fusion centers, and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Tags: technology , DoD , FBI , terrorism , security , Scott Carr

Monday - 05/31/2010, 11:52pm EDT

NOAA Ocean Observing System Improves Safety and Efficiency of Ships

A new ocean observing system from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now offers mariners free real-time information on water level, wind, and weather conditions for the Sabine-Neches Waterway of Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas. The so-called PORTS system provides observations of tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind speed, gusts and direction through an easy-to-use Web portal and by phone. NOAA officials say the system will significantly reduce the risk of vessel groundings and increase the amount of cargo moved though the waterway by enabling mariners to safely use nearly every inch of a channel. The system also allows big ships to time their arrivals and departures more efficiently. There are 19 such other PORTS systems located throughout the nation. A new ocean observing system from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now offers mariners free real-time information on water level, wind, and weather conditions for the Sabine-Neches Waterway of Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas. The so-called PORTS system provides observations of tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind speed, gusts and direction through an easy-to-use Web portal and by phone. NOAA officials say the system will significantly reduce the risk of vessel groundings and increase the amount of cargo moved though the waterway by enabling mariners to safely use nearly every inch of a channel. The system also allows big ships to time their arrivals and departures more efficiently. There are 19 such other PORTS systems located throughout the nation.

Tags: technology , NOAA , Scott Carr

Monday - 05/31/2010, 11:49pm EDT

FDA and NIH Launch Electronic Safety Reporting Portal

The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health have launched a new Web site that, when fully developed, will provide a mechanism for the reporting of pre- and post-market safety data to the federal government. Currently, the Web site can be used to report safety problems related to foods, including animal feed, as well as adverse events that might happen in relation to human gene transfer trials. Consumers can also use the site to report problems with pet foods and pet treats. The new site, called the Safety Reporting Portal, is meant to provide greater and easier access to online reporting. FDA officials say it's a first step toward a common electronic reporting system that will offer one-stop shopping, allowing people to file a single report that may be of interest to several agencies.

Tags: technology , FDA , NIH , Scott Carr

Monday - 05/31/2010, 11:49pm EDT

NIH Research Identifies At Risk Infants

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health - using an electro-encephalogram, a machine that records the brain's electrical activity - shows newborn infants are capable of a simple form of learning while they're asleep. The finding may one day lead to a test that can identify infants at risk for developmental disorders. The NIH National Institute of Child Health and Human Development sponsors research on development, before and after birth. The machine measured the babies brain's electrical activity while a video camera recorded each baby's facial expressions, as researchers played a tone, as a machine blew a puff of air at each sleeping infant's eyelids. The electroencephalogram detected changes in brain wave activity that occurred simultaneously with the tone, showing the infants had learned to associate the tone with the puff of air.

Tags: technology , NIH , health , Scott Carr

Tuesday - 05/25/2010, 08:15pm EDT

Park Service Website Assists Visitors Planning

Summer may be the time for hitting the trail or rafting the gorge, but before heading out, the National Park Service is encouraging visitors to spend at least a little time planning an itinerary, negotiating routes, and researching the environs of where they're going. And, they have a new website to help out. The National Park Service's 2010 Summer Adventure trip planning website connects visitors to travel resources, events and services at national parks across the country. The website links visitors to sites of interest, lodging, upcoming events and tips to get the most out of the nation's parks. An interactive calendar makes it easier to search for special events by state, or by park. Last year more than 285 million people visited national parks. The website is at www- dot-nps-dot-gov.

Tags: technology , Scott Carr

Tuesday - 05/25/2010, 08:08pm EDT
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