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Maria Roat is in

It's official — Maria Roat is the new deputy Federal CIO, the White House announced Tuesday. Roat had been slated for the job since early this year, but the Office of Management and Budget had to finish the official hiring process first. “We’re thrilled to have Maria join OFCIO and the OMB team,” said Federal CIO Suzette Kent in the announcement. “The experience and leadership Maria brings to the role of deputy federal chief information officer will be an asset to efforts to shape a secure, modern, and data driven government.” Roat made her mark as CIO of the Small Business Administration, where she had first-hand experience with the pressures on federal IT from the coronavirus pandemic. Dave Nyczepir has more.

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Trying to keep EIS task orders on track

Industry pressure is mounting for the General Services Administration to issue guidance for agencies on hitting deadlines for modernizing their telecommunications, as the coronavirus pandemic further delays transitions. At issue is the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, the government’s $50 billion telecom and network modernization vehicle. In the limited cases where task orders have been awarded, agencies aren’t providing contractors “clear direction,” says Zain Ahmed, vice president of civilian and law enforcement sales at CenturyLink, which has won several EIS awards already. GSA officials have acknowledged that a few task orders have been delayed, and they say they're working with agencies to address issues on those that have already been issued. Dave has the story.

No more Pentagon CMO?

The No. 3 position at the Pentagon is the chief management officer (CMO), but despite that lofty designation, the office hasn't performed well, according to the Defense Business Board. The advisory panel says in a new report that the Department of Defense should basically eliminate the position and divide up its responsibilities. The office was elevated in 2018 to its current status with the goal of reforming business practices across the department, but it was unsuccessful because it could not overcome cultural barriers and lacked clear authority, according to the board. The CMO's influence over major IT modernization efforts has waned recently, as the Office of the Chief Information Officer has gained more authority on those issues. Jackson Barnett has the report.

An AI boost for transcription services at DOJ

Federal lawyers will now have access to artificial-intelligence technology that will speed up the discovery process in their cases. The Department of Justice and 94 U.S. attorneys' offices can access audio and video transcription and translation services through a contract announced Tuesday. Veritone won the two-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for its aiWARE Government platform, making it now DOJ's sole provider for such services. The tech can help case teams analyze information irrespective of data type or language, the company says. Read more about the technology.


The power of open source solutions in enterprise IT

Government agencies that are shifting away from monolithic IT systems want to keep their options open for future changes and avoid committing to one primary vendor or technology platform. Open source tools allow IT leaders to improve digital services faster and more securely, says SUSE's CEO, and shift to more agile cloud services. It would seem that agencies have more choices and flexibility today than in years past. Read more from Melissa Di Donato.

Six more "Tech Bridges" are coming

The Navy is doubling the number of technology collaboration centers that it operates to improve collaboration with organizations that do not traditionally work with the military. The “Tech Bridges” are large collaboration spaces around the country that connect the service directly with academia and the private sector, beyond the confines of military bases. The Navy currently has six, and says it is standing up six more across the country. The goal is creating “networks and collaboration” and awarding contracts to small business and nontraditional defense technology companies, assistant secretary for research development and acquisition, James “Hondo” Geurts, said Tuesday. Jackson has more from Geurts.


Building resiliency in government services with open source

IT executives are increasingly recognizing the importance of open source software as a way to preserve their investment options, reduce vendor lock-in and build more agility into their systems. And with the added ability to tap into a global community of developers who continually adapt to changing requirements, open source is becoming a more certain bet during uncertain economic times, says SUSE executive. Listen to more of the conversation.

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