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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It’s Official: Accenture Wins Contract to Manage

January 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration is transfering day-to-day management and development of its once-troubled online health insurance marketplace,, from CGI Federal to competing contractor Accenture, solicitation documents show. News that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would not renew its contract with CGI was first reported last week by the...

This Teen Uses Data to Track the Conversation About Bullying

January 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A teenager in the Washington suburb of Reston, Va., is seeking help from Twitter and Facebook to track how people are talking about the epidemic of online bullying. Viraj Puri, 13, has already built a simple heat map that offers a daily catalog of when Tweeters use the terms “bully”...

The Congressional Civility Caucus’ Social Media Campaign Lasted Three Weeks

January 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government is littered with social media campaigns that launched with vigor but ultimately slimmed down to a trickle of tweets before being forgotten about entirely. Few such campaigns were as short-lived, though, as one launched by the Congressional Civility Caucus in late 2012 as members entered the final stretch before... Is Secure, Says CMS Official Who Voiced Early Concerns

January 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A top information security officer at the Health and Human Services Department who expressed concern about before its Oct. 1 launch told lawmakers on Thursday she’s now convinced the site meets all government security requirements. That endorsement is based on end-to-end security testing the Obama administration’s online health insurance...

Group Aims to Reform Government Around Citizen Services

January 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Having a baby can be a complicated affair where the U.S. government is concerned. There’s the Social Security Administration, which must assign the child a social security number if her parents want to claim her as a dependent on their tax returns. Then there’s the Internal Revenue Service, where the...

House Democrats Charge Issa Is Playing Fast and Loose with Docs

January 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The ranking Democrat on the House’s chief investigative committee claimed on Wednesday that his Republican counterpart wasn’t doing enough to safeguard subpoenaed contractor documents that detail early security gaps within, the Obama administration’s online health insurance marketplace. Those documents, which Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says demonstrate the White House...

Government Data Saves Lives

January 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol takes thousands of aerial pictures following a natural disaster, but those images alone often aren’t sufficient to assess the full scale of damage to building and communities. Imagine, though, if those images could be combined with geotagged pictures taken by disaster victims on...

Federal Technology Performance Info Should Be Public All the Time, GAO Says

January 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A government auditor called on the White House on Monday to end its practice of freezing the main outlet for public information about federal technology performance during budget reviews. That practice has resulted in the IT Dashboard not being updated for 15 of the past 24 months, the Government Accountability...

About 30 Percent of ObamaCare Enrollees Are Younger Than 34

January 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About 2.2 million people enrolled in new health insurance plans through and state-run insurance marketplaces between Oct. 1, when the exchanges launched, and the end of December, the Health and Human Services Department said on Monday. The vast majority of those enrollments took place in December, following a round-the-clock...

When CGI Made It Work

January 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow I wrote here on Friday about Plan Finder, the Medicare Part D Web tool that received un-diluted praise from the Government Accountability Office, despite a troubled launch eight years ago, for using data checks and quality measures to ensure the accuracy of its drug pricing information. One lesson for contemporary...

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