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08/04/2020
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FITARA scores mostly stay put

The latest House Oversight Committee FITARA Scorecard grades were released Monday and, for the most part, agencies either stayed put or improved since the last marks were issued in December 2019. The General Services Administration stood atop the pack of 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies, maintaining its A+. In total, 13 agencies maintained their grades, seven improved them and four saw downgrades — including the Department of Education, which had its A+ December mark reduced to a B+ — on the biannual House Oversight Committee scorecard, which Congress uses as a measure of federal digital hygiene and compliance with IT reform laws. Dave Nyczepir has the analysis.


A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.


Army 7 months early on cloud move

The Army is celebrating the migration of its enterprise financial management system seven months ahead of schedule. By moving the system — which handles $164 billion in yearly transactions — to Amazon Web Services' cloud, the Army hopes to realize millions of dollars in savings and develop more reliable and interoperable data services. “The completion of this monumental effort underscores our ability to press forward with strategic partners to provide modern solutions that benefit our workforce, and the Army as a whole,” said Jonathan Moak, the acting assistant secretary for financial management and comptroller. Jackson Barnett has more.


Modernizing the world's largest collection of pathogens

The Pentagon's health arm is in search of help to modernize the world’s largest collection of pathology specimens. The Defense Digital Services (DDS) and the Defense Health Agency‘s Joint Pathology Center issued a sources sought notice looking for companies to assist with a “complete digitization” of more than a hundred years of pathogen data in the form of 55 million glass slides, 31 million paraffin-embedded tissue blocks and 500,000 wet tissue samples. The hope is to create digital images and barcodes containing information for every sample. Jackson has this one too.


Hoyer calls for TMF compromise in relief bill

The House wants $1 billion or more to fund IT modernization during the pandemic through the Technology Modernization Fund. The Senate, on the other hand, wants to directly give the IRS $2 billion for tech upgrades. But House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has a better idea. Why not fund the IRS upgrades through a $2 billion injection into the TMF? "Since the funds will be administered through the TMF, the long-term cost savings resulting from the IRS upgrades would be reinvested through the TMF's competitive revolving fund model into other urgently needed federal technology upgrades, including the Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration, and other agencies," he wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "That TMF model has already proven effective through three years of success." Read Hoyer's letter.


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Building a data strategy to improve decisions across lines of business

To get greater insights from government data, agencies need to prioritize integration and accessibility strategies across their lines of business, says a new report. And while the Federal Data Strategy 2020 Action Plan lays out processes to utilize data more effectively, leaders still face the challenge of how to balance the requirements of the action plan with other IT priorities. Read more in the report


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Enhancing online engagement with predictive analytics

In the private sector, consumers expect a personalized experience in the first minutes or hours after interacting with an entity. As agencies look to similarly meet citizens’ expectations, organizations from public health, to post offices and other public services should look to predictive analytic capabilities, says Google Cloud’s Quinn Chasan. Listen to the full conversation.


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