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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Initiative aims to reform government services around life events

May 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A cadre of former federal information technology leaders has a novel plan for how to reduce billions of dollars in overlapping information technology services governmentwide: They want to look at the recipients of those services rather than at the agencies where they originate. The project, known as Smart Lean Government,...

Senators Give the Nod to a New Maternal Health App

May 15, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Did you miss Mother’s Day? You’re not alone. A bipartisan group of senators announced Tuesday they’ll be honoring Mother’s Day Thursday with a briefing on the text4baby app, which texts prenatal tips to expectant mothers based on the stage of their pregnancy. Most of us wouldn’t get a pass on...

Think before you tweet

May 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tweets may take just seconds to compose, but before they go out federal agencies should devote substantial time to figuring out who their audience is, their rules of engagement and who will be managing their Twitter accounts, a report released Monday urged. Social media strategies should address how deeply agencies...

A Single Federal Email System is Interesting, but Unlikely

May 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Friday marked the second time in as many weeks Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel has publicly pondered a major Canadian initiative to pull the government’s entire information technology staff into a single agency and, perhaps most impressively, launch a single governmentwide email system. VanRoekel first mentioned the Shared Service...

Telework will play a big role in government digital strategy, federal CIO says

May 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The forthcoming digital government strategy will include telework as a major component, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel told lawmakers and technology contractors Friday. The federal digital strategy, which VanRoekel said will be released soon, is a combination of two strategies the White House has been working on: one to...

BlackBerry Needs Apps to Retain Federal Market Share

May 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A compelling array of applications will be vital for Research in Motion’s forthcoming BlackBerry 10 if the company hopes to maintain some share of the federal marketplace it once dominated, a government vendor said Wednesday. That won’t be an easy sell for developers, however, who don’t see RIM’s BlackBerry as...

Social Security’s IT modernization lacks a strategic plan

May 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Social Security Administration has invested more than $5 billion in information technology modernization over the past decade without effectively measuring how each reform would improve its services, a watchdog testified before members of a House subcommittee on Wednesday. As a result, the agency does not have reliable data on...

New App Will Help the Disabled Report Income

May 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Social Security Administration is developing a mobile application for people who receive Supplemental Security income from the agency, Chief Information Officer Kelly Croft told a House subcommittee Wednesday. SSI benefits, which are intended to help aged, blind or disabled people pay for food and other basic needs, must be...

GAO rejects protest of $70 million IT contract at CDC

May 8, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Comptroller General’s Office rejected arguments from Unisys Corp. on Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tricked it into overbidding on a $70 million contract to combine the agency’s legacy information technology systems. Unisys argued CDC officials misled the company into raising its proposed price tag from...

Two-thirds of embassies are Tweeting

May 8, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About 70 percent of U.S. embassies are active on Twitter, many of them Tweeting in the local language as well as English , according to a report released Tuesday by the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group. Most of the 121 U.S. embassies on Twitter use the social media...

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