When the Federal CIO Council announced in April 2013 a catalog of shared services available to agencies in furtherance of the Office of Management and Budget's policy of "Shared First," FierceGovernmentIT grew curious about the contents of the catalog. FierceGovernmentIT filed almost immediately a Freedom of Information Act request for a list of all the services in the catalog. We wanted to see the building blocks of the transformation, but couldn't on our own, since OMB keeps the list behind a password protected website.
Basic cybersecurity measures such as patching, anti-virus software updates and password management are insufficient at federal agencies, leaving government networks vulnerable to even non-sophisticated cyber intrusions, finds a Feb. 4 report.
Under the omnibus spending act (H.R. 3547) that funds federal agencies through this fiscal year, the e-government fund administered by the General Services Administration at the behest of the Office of Management and Budget has $16 million in appropriations. The Office of Management and Budget itself will have $10 million for its Integrated, Efficient, and Effective Uses of Information Technology fund.
A paper co-authored by a former government executive who occupied the position now known as the federal chief information officer recommends greater integration of cybersecurity efforts with federal cloud adoption.
A plan to reduce costly services contracts at the Transportation Department has been delayed, a Jan. 15 report from the DOT office of inspector general says. The Office of Management and Budget began a governmentwide initiative (.pdf) in November 2011 to cut spending on management support services – including program management and acquisition planning – which cost the federal government about $40 billion annually.
Lack of a consistent definition of what constitutes "information technology" spending across the federal government continues to hamper oversight efforts, finds the Government Accountability Office. For example, in the most recent budget cycle, Energy officials decided that supercomputer projects no longer constitute an IT project, the GAO says, despite adding up to $368 million and accounting for nearly a quarter of departmental IT spending in fiscal 2012.
Agencies restrained spending on conferences and are using alternatives such as video conferencing to reduce costs, agency managers told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy has updated guidance for the use of "value engineering," a way contractors can present agencies with cheaper production in return for monetary incentives.
Federal improper payments declined to about 3.5 percent of all payments made by the government in fiscal 2013, a Dec. 20 Office of Management and Budget blog post says. In fiscal 2012 the rate was about 3.75 percent, OMB says and back in fiscal 2009 the rate came in at 5.4 percent.
The Office of Management and Budget issued Dec. 26 final guidance meant to streamline management and oversight of federal grants.