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Jason Miller covers civilian agencies in the federal government with a focus on technology and acquisition. He is also an executive editor at Federal News Radio. Jason's reports can be heard Monday - Friday on the Federal Drive and In Depth.
The Housing and Urban Development Department, Internal Revenue Service, Office of Management and Budget and the Environmental Protection Agency will all shut down Friday because of widespread employee furloughs. The Labor and Interior Departments also are telling employees to stay home.
Katherine Archuleta, President Barack Obama's nominee for director of the Office of Personnel Management, served as his national political director in the 2012 election. Prior to that, Archuleta served as chief of staff to former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management want to know why the NRC spent millions of dollars to renovate office space it may never use. DHS and HHS were praised by the committee for their approach to consolidating office space.
The Homeland Security Department alerted employees in its headquarters office, and its Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement components that a vendor processing background investigations may have exposed personal data. DHS emphasizes there is no evidence of any lost or stolen information.
HHS approves Amazon Web Services for meeting security requirements under the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program. The company's secure documents are available for other agencies to review to help accelerate their move to the cloud.
Steve VanRoekel will continue to be the federal CIO, in addition to taking on new management responsibilities at OMB. Norman Dong will lead OMB's Federal Financial Management Office.
The administration is expected to release a new directive in the coming weeks to update Circular A-127, which defines how agencies operate their financial systems. The new guidance is expected to open the market up to vendors and make it easier for agencies to transition to shared service providers.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and the GSA inspector general released separate, but related, reports that show GSA abused its authority to give Senior Executive Service (SES) members bonuses between 2009 and 2011. GSA official said they have since fixed these problems. McCaskill also found that on average the Labor Department, the Navy and the National Science Foundation handed out more than one bonus per SES employee.
Scott Gould's last day as the deputy secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department is today. In four years, Gould said he believes VA is a better place and does more to help veterans. He said the claims backlog is unacceptable, but the agency is making progress.
Joe Klimavicz, NOAA's chief information officer and director of high performance computing and communication, said his agency is moving to the cloud more aggressively and addressing mobile computing.
May 16, 2013
The impact of the Digital Government Strategy has been hard to measure so far, but federal CIO Steve VanRoekel said the government is ready to unleash the potential of open data. New tools for how agencies should build and secure mobile devices are expected in the next few weeks.
Government auditors told House Oversight and Government Affairs members that saving money from closing more than 1,000 data centers needs to be metric. OMB said optimization of core data centers is a more important measure than straight cost savings.
Beth McGrath, the Defense Department's deputy chief management officer, issued a memo in April creating a new integrated business framework. The goal of the framework is to tie costs to performance and strategy.
The company says both sites have been scrubbed of malware and vulnerabilities have been closed. The "drive-by" attack that affected the sites is a growing type of cyber hack that looks for holes in popular websites. FederalNewsRadio.com and WTOP.com are available again to users of all Internet browsers.
News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.
President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order and OMB released a new policy requiring agencies to make data machine-readable and use open standards. Agencies must develop an inventory of information and make it publicly available. Good government groups praised the changes but had some concerns around the administration's decision to apply the policy only to structured data.
President Barack Obama issued a new policy and signed an Executive Order requiring data to be open, machine-readable and safeguarded.
Senate lawmakers are promising to change the laws to let agencies have easier access to the Death Master File and other key databases. Starting June 1, agencies must check the Do Not Pay list before issuing any money.
Three Department of Homeland Security components are testing how ongoing authorizations work. The Office of Management and Budget is drafting a memo to require agencies to change from approving the cybersecurity of systems every three years to a more regular oversight schedule.
Mid-career employees are a scarcity in government. While agencies are awash with employees at the early career stage and those with 20-plus years of federal service, there aren't enough in the middle stages, and that has federal managers worried. Agencies like EPA and HUD are taking matters into their own hands. Both are launching new efforts aimed at keeping mid-career feds from leaving government for the private sector.