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Search Tags: Meeting Mission and Goals through Technology
The White House has had an iPhone app for a while now. In fact, it's inching toward a half million downloads. Now, the administration is branching out into the Android world. Both apps allow users to access audio, video, written briefings, White House blogs, and get alerts. The White House says almost 7 percent of the visitors to the whitehouse.gov website already come from either iPhone or Android devices. And their figures show the traffic from those mobile platforms to the president's official site has nearly doubled in the past year.
DISA, the Defense Information Systems Agency, is adding a social networking layer to its software development collaboration system. Forge.mil is DISA's shared software development environment. Forge.mil community will let developers organize into groups and sub-communities to share their development work with Defense Department stakeholders. DISA imagines those groups forming around communities of interest, organizations, mission areas, or specific technologies.
The Internal Revenue Service says it saw a significant increase in the number of electronically filed returns this year. By April 18th, this year's slightly-delayed tax day, the IRS had received 101 million E-Filed returns - almost a nine percent increase over tax year 2009. It's also the first time the number of e-filed returns has crossed the 100 million mark. The IRS says it's received almost a billion returns over E-File since the program first began nationally, in 1990.
The National Archives says its Civil War records are among its holdings that are most requested by the public. But until now, reviewing those documents required a trip to Washington and time reviewing the original papers. But the Archives has now put about 275,000 pages of records with the names of some three million potential draftees online. The Archives didn't have the money to digitize the records itself, so it partnered with the genealogy service Ancestry.com. After five years, the Archives will own the digital records, free and clear.
The US Department of Agriculture says its stakeholders in the area of farming are a lot more tech savvy these days. So, its Natural Resources Conservation Service is focusing on developing mobile apps as a way to communicate and exchange data with them. The service thinks using apps instead of traditional paperwork for things like financial assistance and geospatial data exchanges could cut down processing time by 60 to 70 percent. And for farmers, they say, it'll mean they can spend more time in the field.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has come up with a solution for modernizing its electronic health records system: Releasing the software to the open source community. VA says it's seeing a lot of innovation around electronic health records in the private sector. It thinks opening up the source code to its VistA software will be the easiest way to incorporate those technologies into VA, while also letting tech companies build on the platform it's already developed. VA uses VistA in 150 hospitals and 800 outpatient clinics.
The Justice Department is taking information about how agencies are responding to the Freedom of Information Act, and putting it all in one place. FOIA.gov is a new web portal that takes each federal agency's annual FOIA report, and puts it into an online, customizable, searchable database with colorful charts and graphs. Users can compare one agency's FOIA performance to another, see how much each agency spends to comply with the open records law, and how big the backlog of unanswered requests is. It also gives members of the public information help with filing a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is relying on the promise of technology to meet its goal of eliminating its backlog of claims for disability benefits by 2015. VA Secretary Erik Shinseki says they are hiring more people to process claims, but those new workers don't always have the experience to process claims accurately. To bridge that gap, the department is building IT systems that use a rules based engine to automate the results they'd get from a skilled, veteran claims processor. Their ultimate goal is to automate the claims process entirely, with a 98 percent accuracy rate.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are exploring how they can use some of the technology used by credit card companies to cut down on fraud, by stopping improper payments before they happen. The agency plans to use money from the Small Business Jobs bill to test out technology known as predictive modeling. Banks use it to detect transactions that don't mesh up with a card holder's typical spending patterns. CMS thinks it might be a way to stop improper payments beforehand - rather than chasing down fraud after it's already happened.
The FBI is beginning to replace its fingerprint identification system with a next-generation version that will dramatically speed up the time it takes to link prints to an identity. The agency says the next generation identification system reached initial operating capability this month at its Clarksburg, West Virginia information services facility. For high-priority prints, it'll be able to find a match in as little as ten minutes - compared to the two hours required for a ten-fingerprint match using the previous generation IAFIS system.