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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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Obamacare Cloud Contract Will End Up Costing 10 Times Its Original Value

March 10, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration has extended and roughly doubled the value of a contract with Verizon’s cloud division to host, manage and secure backend data for HealthCare.gov and state Obamacare marketplaces because of a delay in moving that data to a new host, according to contracting documents. The Centers for Medicare ...

Sequestration Hit IT Contracts

March 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Government Accountability Office released a mammoth report on Thursday detailing how agencies managed through sequestration during the 2013 fiscal year. The report is full of details but one jumps out from a table on page 54: 18 of the 23 surveyed agencies re-scoped information technology projects in order to ...

Private-Sector Technologists -- the White House Wants You

March 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House is recruiting a third round of non-government technologists to tackle thorny government problems on a short term basis, according to a notice posted on Thursday. This round of Presidential Innovation Fellows will spend six month tours working on projects related to government crowdsourcing, open government data and ...

White House Seeks Feedback on Big Data and Privacy

March 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking public feedback on how the government can best protect citizen privacy as it and the private sector increasingly turn to big data analysis. The request for information posted on Thursday is part of a larger investigation of big data ...

Is Smarter Dot-gov Reform on Its Way?

March 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Could a new push to cut, consolidate and rationalize the federal Web presence be on the horizon? Two things make me think it might be. First, there were federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s comments in a budget talk with reporters on Tuesday that he plans to expand his PortfolioStat ...

Federal Tech Funding Dips Slightly in Obama’s Fiscal 2015 Request

March 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Funding for civilian information technology projects and maintenance is essentially flat in President Obama’s proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year, and the Defense Department's requested technology allowance is down slightly, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said during a conference call on Tuesday. The 2015 request for information technology ...

Here’s What Government Is Thunderclapping About

March 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s been about seven months since the social amplification site Thunderclap was approved for government use, so I asked the folks at Thunderclap to send along some examples of how federal agencies had used the site so far. Thunderclap is a tool that allows groups that want to launch a ...

FDA Wants to Monitor Social Media Chatter About Product Risks

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Food and Drug Administration is looking for a contractor to monitor social media chatter about the drugs and other products it regulates and how that chatter shifts as a result of FDA risk warnings, solicitation documents show. The agency is looking for a contractor that can provide historical information ...

The Curious Case of the Obamacare Doge

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Environmental Protection Agency’s Director of Web Communications Jeffrey Levy posed an interesting question to Twitter this morning asking why this Obamacare-promoting tweet from the Health and Human Services Department that capitalized on the doge Internet meme received hundreds of favorites and retweets but primarily negative or mocking comments. The ...

Are Conflicting Priorities Making Your Job Harder?

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The top priorities for those in federal technology are pretty clear: provide good value for government and for citizens at a reasonable cost; ensure systems and data are secure; be innovative about how you provide those services and keep Congress and your bosses in the loop. When those priorities are ...