The federal information technology spending proposal for the coming fiscal year totals $79.1 billion, Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Tuesday during a call with reporters. It includes $35.4 billion for the Defense Department and $43.7 billion for civilian agencies. As always with OMB calculations about federal IT spending, that figure doesn't account for classified spending.
Federal agencies must come up with a significant new project to include in updates to their open government plans due June 1. In a Feb. 24 memo (.pdf), Todd Park, the federal chief technology officer, called on agencies to "introduce bold, ambitious new open government initiatives," relating to either transparency, participation or collaboration.
The Defense Department isn't always accurate in its contribution to a federal website purporting to catalog major information technology programs, their current status and risk rating, acknowledged a senior Pentagon official.
A bill reforming federal management of information technology has another shot at becoming law following the House's Feb. 25 passage by voice vote of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The bill (H.R. 1232) the House approved Tuesday afternoon is different in some key respects from an earlier version the House attached as an amendment to a national defense authorization bill.
The General Services Administration hasn't developed a performance measure to determine small business participation in strategic sourcing initiatives and the Office of Management and Budget hasn't monitored agencies' efforts to include small businesses, a recently release Jan. 23 Government Accountability Office report says.
Agencies must come up with a plan and oversight process to make information more available both internally and to the private sector, a Feb. 14 Office of Management and Budget memo says.
The Office of Management and Budget has proposed revisions to its guidance on the use of voluntary standards in regulations for the first time since 1998. The proposed updates (.pdf) encourage agencies to coordinate their use of voluntary standards so they don't use different versions of the same standard. They also suggest that agencies notify the public if they plan to participate in a standards development process, so businesses can decide if they want to participate as well.
There's confusion within the federal government regarding the requirements for setting up information exchanges between agencies, finds the Government Accountability Office in a newly released Jan. 13 report.
A coalition of advocacy groups criticized the Obama administration for revisions it proposed to the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act in a Feb. 11 letter to the president.
For bioterrorism to draw the level of attention that nuclear terrorism has received will require a concerted effort from the White House, said Robert Kadlec, formerly the special assistant to the president for biodefense. "It really does take some leadership at the very top," Kadlec, who served under President George W. Bush, told a House Homeland Security subcommittee during a hearing Feb. 11.