AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.
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Down on the Levee

November 1, 2011 New app fine-tunes flood damage assessments for Ted Streckfuss and the Army Corps' Omaha District. Army Corps of Engineers flood inspection teams used to scribble down detailed directions to where they'd found seepage in a levee or turbid water on the landward side of a dike. But times have changed ...

White House responds to marijuana and God petitions

October 31, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow After using its first official We the People petition response to advance a minor policy shift to reduce student loan debt, the White House is now getting to the larger share of online petitions that won't launch policy changes. In a blanket response emailed Friday evening to signers of eight ...

White House responds to marijuana and God petitions

October 31, 2011 After using its first official We the People petition response to advance a minor policy shift to reduce student loan debt, the White House is now getting to the larger share of online petitions that won't launch policy changes. Read the whole story at Nextgov.com.

Members of Congress join the rush to social media

October 28, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated Oct. 31 to more accurately characterize recent Twitter trends among lawmakers. About 80 percent of congressional lawmakers' websites now link to the members' Facebook and Twitter pages compared with just about 20 percent in 2009, according to a study released this week. Nearly 75 percent of ...

Agencies outline technology-based customer service initiatives

October 27, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies this week outlined a number of projects aimed at using technology to make life simpler for citizens -- from loan applicants who have to transmit tax records to residents traveling frequently across the borders with Canada and Mexico. The Internal Revenue Service is developing an application that will ...

OMB should improve IT investment guidance, watchdog says

October 26, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Office of Management and Budget should give federal agencies better guidance on what counts as an information technology investment and what doesn't and demand more information on what they're doing to reduce duplicative IT spending, a watchdog said Wednesday. The report from the Government Accountability Office also urged OMB ...

White House issues first online petition response

October 26, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House responded Wednesday to its first We the People online petition -- a request to forgive all student loan debt to stimulate the economy -- with changes to the government's income-based repayment program that will significantly lower monthly payments for some borrowers. The plan -- detailed in a ...

Taking Responsibility for IT Duplication

October 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Contractors bear some responsibility for the proliferation of disparate and duplicative information technology systems governmentwide, but ultimately the "silo-ing" of federal IT is a government failure, Homeland Security technology chief Richard Spires said during a conference for government and industry IT workers Tuesday. "I've been in your industry; I worked ...

DHS to bundle virtual desktop, mobile services

October 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department will soon pilot a program to drive down the cost of its virtualized desktop and mobile services by bundling the two together into a single purchase, Richard Spires, DHS' chief information officer, said Tuesday. The program, which the department is calling "workplace as a service," will ...

Broader budget authority could help CIOs cut costs

October 24, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One way to wring more savings from the federal information technology enterprise in a time of flat or declining budgets is to give agency chief information officers broader power to make financial decisions, Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker said Monday. Baker is the only agency CIO with authority, provided by ...