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State Department
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State Department

The State Department announced today that it has officially launched its long-awaited Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP), which will “address the national security challenges, economic opportunities, and implications for U.S. values associated with cyberspace, digital technologies, and digital policy.”

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Information security remains a prevalent concern for the State Department based on numerous previous recommendations regarding fundamental information technology-related issues that still require close attention, according to a recent agency Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.

The report assesses 107 unclassified, open OIG recommendations from 19 reports addressed to the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) as of July 30, 2021. OIG found that IRM had addressed three of the 107 recommendations and closed one duplicative recommendation related to risk management, one related to data protection and privacy, and one related to general IT policies. Additionally, OIG closed 14 recommendations in August 2021 as part of its normal compliance process.

However, the remaining 90 recommendations – 57 percent of which dated back to fiscal 2019 or earlier – remain relevant and require “close attention to close them,” the report read.

A larger number of the recommendations involve configuration management of products and systems to ensure information security. The other unaddressed recommendations pertain to several areas including as risk management, IT investments, contingency planning, and shared services.

To facilitate closing the remaining recommendations addressed to IRM, OIG made two recommendations to Carol Perez, the agency’s under secretary for management. OIG recommended her office develop a method for periodically reviewing IRM’s efforts – and indicated that step has since been taken.

OIG also recommended that Perez’s office verify IRM plans of action and milestones (POA&M) documented for all 90 recommendations. However, Perez disagreed with that recommendation, explaining that if the end goal is for IRM to solve open recommendations, developing an individual action plan for each recommendation is “overly cumbersome.”

“IRM’s staff, time, and resources are better spent working on compliance-related activities, maintaining a high standard of day-to-day operations, and communicating directly with OIG,” Perez wrote in her response to OIG.

However, OIG argued that under guidance from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, agencies are required to develop a POA&M, and that Perez must submit a POA for the recommendation.

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State Department
State Department
State Department
State Department

The State Department’s Office of the Science and Technology Adviser (STAS) has been an asset for the State Department in the ten years since its inception. Still, a failure to develop implementation plans and constant personnel and leadership turnover hampered the agency’s overall effectiveness, according to a recent audit from the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

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State Department

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found in a follow-up audit that the agency’s Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) has taken corrective action on one of several recommendations the OIG made in 2016 to improve IT management practices, but said the bureau still has work to do on another four recommendations.

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State Department

While the State Department Office of Technology Services’ (OTS) information system processes were compliant with many Department of State and Federal standards, there were some significant areas that require management attention, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

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State Department
State Department
White House
DISA

Vice Admiral Nancy Norton will hand over command of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) on Feb. 26, the admiral said today.

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State Department
State Department
CIO-min

With the Biden administration taking office Jan. 20, the Federal CIO Council has named acting CIOs at five of the seven agencies where the position is helmed by political appointees who are obliged to step down at the end of presidential administrations.

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State Department
Cybersecurity
State Department

The State Department has kicked off the new year with a bang. The Department announced on Jan. 4 that it has appointed Dr. Matthew Graviss as its first-ever Chief Data Officer (CDO). Graviss will lead the Office of Management Strategy and Solution’s Center for Analytics (CfA), which is the State’s enterprise data capability.

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While larger Federal government agencies had the resources necessary to facilitate a shift to large-scale telework earlier this year, some smaller agencies had a more difficult time mounting similar efforts, a State Department official said at a Dec. 9 AFCEA Bethesda webinar.

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State Department

The three biggest linchpins for the Department of State’s successful implementation of telework across the enterprise each involve longer-term IT investments that the agency was able to make prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and each of those investments has paid big dividends in agency performance since March.

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