Now that there are real dollars beginning to finally accompany the many voices calling for government IT modernization, it’s perfect timing for Marianne Bellotti’s new book, “Kill It with Fire,” which cautions against the headlong approach the title connotes. She conveys this quite succinctly in the book’s pithy epigraph – with a quote from Ellen Ullman, a fellow author and computer programmer: “We build our computer systems the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.”
In one of many budget hearings taking place on the Hill this week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government heard from Russell T. Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding the agency’s FY2020 budget request. While the bulk of the hearing didn’t address IT issues, Vought did touch on IT spending, IT modernization, and the President’s Management Agenda (PMA).
The U.S. Digital Service (USDS) said earlier this month that it established a new standard for Federal acquisition pros looking to procure digital services. Acting as a “core-plus certification” to the existing Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C), FAC-C-DS certifies those who complete a Digital IT Acquisition Professional (DITAP) program.
Product managers at the U.S. Digital Service said that policy and operations teams should work together at Federal agencies to ensure that new technologies affect users in the way that policies intend. Natalie Kates, product manager at USDS, is working with Health and Human Service’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on building the Quality Payment Program website.
The United States Digital Service released its July report to Congress, detailing projects including streamlining Veterans Affairs services, modernizing the immigration system, Hack the Pentagon, and IT acquisition training.
The United States Digital Service is creating an application called Caseflow, which will create a more efficient process for managing veterans’ appeals. However, before the team was able to make daily updates, an elusive bug prevented them from performing rolling deployments into the Amazon Web Services AutoScaling group.
The White House invited technology leaders to a summit last week to discuss eliminating policies that provide obstacles to modernizing the Federal government. On the table: tax reform, the implications of a new tax plan on the technology sector, and the H-1B visa program.
Government agencies shouldn’t give up on developing agile models of procurement despite setbacks, according to Eric Hysen, former United States Digital Service official.
Much of the government has a fear of taking technological risks, and it is the role of digital services teams to snap agency leadership out of that way of thinking, according to Digital Services panelists at the AWS Public Sector Summit on June 13.
John Zangardi, acting chief information officer of the Department of Defense, announced that his team has been working on a pilot for the Defense Travel System in order to modernize and make it more user-centric to serve DoD civilians and the armed forces.
As the prospect of a cybersecurity executive order looms, industry groups clamor to get an audience with President Donald Trump and his advisers to influence the administration’s technology policy. (ISC)², a nonprofit that specializes in information security education and certifications, presented its ideas to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and others on Trump’s team.
The United States Digital Service said that accessibility standards, similar to cybersecurity standards, should be built into government websites from the beginning of the production process.
President Donald Trump advocated for togetherness between the political parties while giving few details about budget and policy plans at his joint address to Congress. Agencies and their private sector partners will feel pressure from the White House to cut costs on government contracts.
The United States Digital Service introduced the “Procuremenati,” a team of acquisition specialists using the skills that are common in the private sector to help Federal agencies secure contracts, including methods such as paying for results rather than time spent on a project.
Matt Cutts announced that he will replace Mikey Dickerson as the acting administrator of the United States Digital Service.
The Office of Management and Budget has decided to move the administrator of the United States Digital Service to directly report to the deputy director of management instead of reporting to Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott.