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Frank Konkel

Frank Konkel is the editorial events editor for Government Executive Media Group and a technology journalist for its publications. He writes about emerging technologies, privacy, cybersecurity, policy and other issues at the intersection of government and technology. Frank also runs Nextgov's Emerging Tech blog. He began writing about technology at Federal Computer Week and previously reported on local and state issues at daily newspapers in his home state of Michigan. Frank was born and raised on a dairy farm and graduated from Michigan State University.
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Senators Urge 'Swift Action' on IT Modernization Bill

May 25, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Fresh off its unanimous passage in the House, a bipartisan cadre of senators are pushing for immediate action on the Modernization Government Technology Act in the upper chamber. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who introduced a Senate version of the MGT Act in April, today authored a letter to the heads...

There Is a Place for USDS, 18F in Trump Administration

May 24, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Two Obama-era technology offices received funding in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget on par with what they got last year. The U.S. Digital Service, created after the HealthCare.gov debacle to ensure successful more successful rollouts of tech projects, would receive $19 million—the same it got in 2017. Some critics anticipated...

Trump Budget Creates $228M Technology Modernization Fund

May 23, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Trump administration today proposed $228 million in funding for a Technology Modernization Fund housed within the General Services Administration. The budget states the central fund will help transition agencies from older IT infrastructure to “more efficient and secure technologies.” It outlines four parameters for the fund: An independent board...

Contract to Watch: State Department's $850M Effort to Revamp Passports and Services

May 22, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is seeking bidders to modernize the underlying technology it uses to process visas, deliver passport services and provide emergency services to Americans overseas. The Consular Systems Modernization contract, posted to the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website, is valued at up to $850 million...

GAO to Agencies: Get a Data Center Plan

May 19, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If data center consolidation across the federal government was a classroom group project, a few bright students would be doing all the work. According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, four agencies—the departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury—have accounted for $2 billion of the government’s...

House Passes IT Modernization Bill

May 17, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify the role of the independent board. Next stop for Rep. Will Hurd’s Modernizing Government Technology Act: the Senate. The bill passed the House in a floor vote Wednesday, highlighting the bipartisan concern lawmakers share regarding the nation’s aging federal technology, which includes...

What Are Microservices and Why Should Government Care?

May 17, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The next steps in the General Services Administration's modernization effort come in small packages but might have a big payoff. Microservices, according to GSA Chief Technology Officer Navin Vembar, are “small, single-capability kinds of services that are totally self-contained,” composed of closer to hundreds of lines of code than the...

The Secret to Better Weather Forecasts Could Be in Meteorologists' Eyes

May 17, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Can weather forecasters keep up with huge volume of data from radar advances and new satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? That’s the question Katie Wilson asked. To find the answer, the meteorologist with the University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies has been watching...

How Much Are Agencies Spending on New Contracts?

May 16, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The federal government rarely seeks truly innovative solutions when it bids out new contracts, according to a report released today. Federal market research and analysis firm Nation Analytics’ "Government Services Competitive Intelligence Report" examined 246 task orders and contracts for federal services—each worth $50 million or more—awarded across the federal...

Optimizing the Data Center

May 16, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Legacy technology costs the federal government a lot of money. Statistically, around 80 percent of the government’s $80 billion IT budget goes toward past-generation systems that, as former U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott used to say, “keep the lights on.” In reality, these systems are often performing mission-critical activities,...

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