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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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Medicare agency to launch major contracting initiative for virtual data center

August 11, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a pre-solicitation notice early this month for a series of contracts to support the agency's virtual data center project. The posting on FedBizOpps includes several draft requests for proposals aimed at both large and small vendors, including one for hosting the ...

Auditors recommend SSA create an online customer service plan

August 10, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Social Security Administration should develop a long-range plan for how it will use the Internet to provide better customer service, the agency's internal watchdog said this week. The agency has done a lot of short-range planning for Web-enabled customer services in its strategic plan, but most of those plans ...

OMB Signals Continuity During CIO Transition

August 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Don't expect major changes in the government's IT shop when Vivek Kundra, the nation's first official chief information officer, steps aside for his successor Steven VanRoekel Friday. Both men stressed that no major policy shifts were in the offing in a meeting with reporters last week and federal Chief Performance ...

Draft report urges greater access to proposed rules for non-English speakers

August 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies should make more of an effort to post translations of proposed new regulations on their websites for non-English speakers, according to a draft report released Monday. Agencies also should provide text-only versions of the proposals to make them more accessible to citizens with low-bandwidth Internet and more compatible ...

CIOs and Campaign Contributions

August 5, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Incoming Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, who started work Friday, doled out $50,000 to fund President Obama's inauguration celebration and has contributed more than $10,000 more to Obama and the Democratic party since 2008. That inaugural contribution puts VanRoekel head and tails above any other inside candidate for the ...

Green IT initiatives need stricter standards, watchdog says

August 5, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government has made important strides in lowering the carbon footprint of its information technology enterprise in recent years, but responsible agencies haven't set up reliable metrics to gauge how much good those initiatives have done, a watchdog said Friday. Friday's report from the Government Accountability Office also urged agencies ...

Fed Tech Chiefs Don't Foresee Major Cuts from Debt Ceiling Deal

August 4, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There's no way the White House's information technology program can escape completely unscathed from the $2.5 trillion in budget cuts required by Sunday's deal to raise the government debt ceiling, Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients said Thursday. But the administration doesn't anticipate major cuts to IT initiatives and plans ...

Happy Birthdays Beat Partisan Ire on Obama's FB Page

August 4, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the online civility's not dead just dormant department, the two posts acknowledging President Obama's 50th birthday on his official Facebook page received more than 20,000 comments in their first two hours online. That's more comments than the president received on any of several posts in recent weeks urging a ...

New federal CIO named; no major strategy changes anticipated

August 4, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. Incoming federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's goal in office will be to consolidate and carry through on programs developed by his predecessor rather than to launch major new initiatives, the former Microsoft executive and Federal Communications Commission managing director said Thursday. The White House ...

New federal CIO named; no major strategy changes anticipated

August 4, 2011 This story has been updated. Incoming federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's goal in office will be to consolidate and carry through on programs developed by his predecessor rather than to launch major new initiatives, the former Microsoft executive and Federal Communications Commission managing director said Thursday. The White House ...