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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.
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VanRoekel: Cut recurring costs to fund new projects

April 3, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's chief aim in office is to cut down the amount of money agencies spend on technology operations and maintenance so that they can plow that money back into new initiatives, he said Tuesday. Traditionally, the government has funded new projects by adding money to...

Tech Roundup

April 1, 2012 Solyndra’s Silver Lining The congressional investigation into alleged mishandling of a $528 million Energy Department loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra was bad news overall for the department. But there was one positive outcome: Energy developed an innovative tool to search for all the documents investigators were...

Clear Communications

April 1, 2012 When New Media Specialist Gray Brooks arrived at the Federal Communications Commission in 2009, the flagship website featured about 200 links on its home page, and two clicks away there were another 40,000 options. FCC.gov hadn’t been fundamentally redesigned in eight years. When officials wanted to add content, they’d essentially...

VanRoekel launches TechStat for agencies' full IT portfolios

March 30, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. The Office of Management and Budget launched an expansion of Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's TechStat program for troubled technology projects Friday. The new program, known as PortfolioStat, will require agency chief operating officers or deputy secretaries to lead agencywide information technology portfolio reviews...

White House launches governmentwide investment in big data

March 30, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Officials from science agencies across the government on Thursday announced $200 million in new research and development investments related to the mining, processing, storage and use of big data. The National Science Foundation, for instance, announced a $10 million grant to University of California Berkeley researchers to...

Big news about big data

March 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A White House webinar scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday is shaping up to be the biggest news for big data watchers in months. Either before or during the webinar White House officials plan to announce a $200 million cross-agency investment in big data research, according to an article by New...

USDA slashed its mobile phone bill $400,000 per month

March 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow AigarsR/Shutterstock.com The U.S. Agriculture Department has saved about 20 percent of its mobile phone costs by consolidating mobile service contracts, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel told Nextgov. The total savings amount to about $400,000 per month, an Agriculture spokeswoman said. "Over the past year, USDA has moved from over...

Elections could affect federal IT contract schedule

March 28, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal information technology budgets and priorities are unlikely to shift much based on who wins November's presidential and congressional elections, experts said Wednesday, but the election results could shake up the government's spending cycle. "You'll probably see a lot of [contracting] activity at the end of the fiscal year," said...

One-third of We the People petitions are Six Months Old

March 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House protested last week that it listens closely to citizen grievances posted to its We the People online petition site. The statement was in response to a We the People petition titled "Actually take these petitions seriously instead of just using them as an excuse to pretend you...

Archives crowdsources advice on federal e-records management

March 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Ensuring electronic records management practices apply broadly across agency divisions and mandating a chief records officer serve at each agency are the most popular recommendations in a crowdsourced survey of best practices sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration. The National Archives launched the IdeaScale page on Feb. 16...