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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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Want to Know How Developers Use Your Agency's Data? Ask Them.

April 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Among the mandates in President Obama’s Open Data Policy is a requirement that agencies query the people and companies that use their data to find out what information they’d like released and in what formats. A proposed upgrade to the HealthData.gov website would go one step further, asking users to ...

Flagging Tweets Didn't Weigh Down Late Obamacare Enrollments

April 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nearly 1 million additional Americans registered for Obamacare health insurance coverage between the original close of enrollment on March 31 and Thursday, when the Obama administration announced late registrants had brought its tally up past 8 million enrollees. That final surge took place without the massive social media push that ...

Three Things Federal CIOs Say About CIO Authority

April 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government chief information officers looking to exercise authority wisely can be easily undone -- by senior leaders who don’t understand the value of improved technology, by contracting rules that diminish that value or for a host of other reasons, officials said on Thursday. The Association for Federal Information Resources Management ...

How Government Data Could Make College Cheaper

April 16, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Education Department is looking for advice on how the private sector and nonprofits might use government-gathered data to make higher education cheaper, more accessible and a better value for the cost. The department wants feedback from developers on how they could use APIs, also known as application programming interfaces, ...

Senate Passes Bill Demanding Uniform Coding for Agencies' Spending Data

April 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Senate passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act on Thursday, raising the likelihood the spending transparency measure will become law. The DATA Act, sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would require agencies to use a uniform coding system for federal spending data so internal auditors ...

Government-Run Competitions Should Be About Markets, Not Prizes

April 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Running a prize competition in government or industry is about “understanding where the market’s going in 10 years and trying to make it go there in three years,” Christopher Frangione, vice president for prize development at the X Prize Foundation, told members of Congress on Wednesday. That means government agencies ...

GSA Announces Plan to Simplify Federal Contracting

April 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration’s contracting division is developing a new Web platform and business structure to bring more expertise to complicated acquisitions, the agency said on Wednesday. The new initiative, called Category Management, will involve assigning a Federal Acquisition Service manager in charge of each of several acquisition categories, such ...

Here Comes GSA's Next Governmentwide Telecom Contract Vehicle

April 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration’s information technology contracting office is seeking industry feedback on plans for the next governmentwide contract vehicle for telecommunications and related services. GSA is in the process of developing Network Services 2020, or NS2020, a slate of approved vendors offering everything from basic telephone and data services ...

New Data.gov Section Profiles the Companies That Use It

April 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government’s digital information repository Data.gov launched a new section on Tuesday focused on companies and nonprofits that are using government data to fuel their businesses. The page titled Impact offers brief profiles of 22 companies that consume open government data, including the companies’ financing and number of employees as ...

How Technology Failed to Fix Kenya’s Election

April 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s perhaps the most common story in all of government technology: A challenge arises; new technology seems to offer the perfect solution; but something happens between concept and execution that makes that technology seem more like a culprit than a savior and that leads people to complain the old analog ...