The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is flagging the Department of Education to address data-driven issues the agency has tracking student loan borrowers’ payments and to do more to ensure all eligible borrowers receive loan forgiveness when they are entitled to it.

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The Department of Education is replacing its G5 grants management system over the next five years with an open and flexible cloud-based system following an increase in grant awards due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Department of Education logo

The Department of Education (DoE) has released new updates to its College Scorecard that are intended to make the tool more useful for students and families weighing college options. DoE said that updates may also be beneficial to school counselors, college access providers, researchers, and other critical stakeholders.

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With K-12 educational institutions increasingly targeted by ransomware and other cyber attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is pushing the Department of Education to update its plans – which currently date from 2010 – for addressing cyber risks faced by schools.

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Final Rule for its Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program this week, to provide $268 million to historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to expand their broadband.

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Data center migration-min (1)

Federal and state government chief data officers (CDO) discussed agency strategies and best practices for data governance at a FedInsider digital roundtable event on June 9 against the backdrop of Federal Chief Data Officer Council efforts to establish government-wide best practices for the management, use, protection, and generation of data.

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website

The Department of Education is redesigning and modernizing its current website to provide a seamless digital experience for the American public, according to a department blog post.

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Amid the widespread misery and dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the few bright spots has been on the Federal technology front, where the imperative to adopt a range of remote processes including widespread telework has helped push Federal agency operations farther into the future.

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Federal money spending government

Education Department CIO Jason Gray told Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., that the agency does not have the necessary authorities from Congress to set up a working capital fund under the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, but said if it received that authority the department would use the money exclusively to finance IT modernization projects.

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Federal government IT and its ability to deliver vital services to citizens is often said to be one of the few notably bipartisan issues left in Congress, and that sentiment was on clear display as the House Government Operations Subcommittee unveiled its tenth FITARA Scorecard at a public hearing on August 3.

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Federal IT has proven its value as the vital lifeline between government and citizen service during the COVID-19 pandemic. MeriTalk is chronicling the untold stories of how Federal IT is getting the job done – and lessons for the road to recovery. Our latest chapter of CIO Crossroads explores IT operations at the Department of Education.

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Health and Human Services HHS

The House Appropriations Committee voted to approve $196.5 billion in funding in a fiscal year 2021 appropriations bill covering the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), which also includes the Social Security Administration.

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Federal spending budget

The $2 trillion measure approved by the Senate last night to help stimulate the flagging U.S. economy and respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will provide hefty increases to the budgets of numerous Federal agencies with major roles in pandemic response and mitigation.

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Department of Education logo

Fresh off notching an A+ grade on the latest FITARA Scorecard, the Department of Education knows it has a handle on good IT, and agency CISO Steven Hernandez said today he credits a measure of that success to an important mindset change on data.

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Last night, five Federal agency CIOs and their senior staff members brought home awards and well-earned praise for raising their Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard grades at MeriTalk’s FITARA Awards (LINK) ceremony.

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FEMA

While figures vary across industry and government as to the size of the “phishing-prone” population in any organization, both sides agree that sustained internal employee training efforts are necessary to cut the success rate of spear-phishing exploits down to more manageable levels.

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election security

Seven Federal agency chief information officers and their senior staffs won well-deserved recognition earlier this month for boosting their agencies’ grades on the latest FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) Scorecard issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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