The results of the 13th FITARA scorecard, a program developed in 2015 to measure and incentivize agencies to meet key IT modernization goals, were released in January leading to a discussion of what is next for this measurement program.
The latest results showed modest improvements, but scores for the most part have remained steady over the past two measurement cycles. On this scorecard, 13 agencies maintained the same scores from July 2021 with seven earning higher marks. A handful of agencies received lower overall marks, due primarily to their inability to transition from a legacy contract vehicle to the new preferred government-wide Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) for telecommunication technology. A March 31, 2022, deadline to move 90% of work to EIS should push many of these scores back up for the next report card.
Knowing there is still a lot of work to do in terms of modernization, the committee that oversees the program has begun discussing new measures to better reflect the current state of government IT and support recent executive-level initiatives around modernization, security, and customer service.Continue reading →
In an effort to continue to keep us safe, law enforcement and other first responders are embracing and responding to the implementation of new technologies. In this post we'll take a look at three technology areas impacting how law enforcement carries out their mission - video, autonomous vehicles, and Internet of Things.
Video Improves Transparency and Public Collaboration
Body and dash cameras were originally introduced in the United Kingdom in 2005, followed by large-scale implementation in the United States in 2014. Their wide application was designed to "make police services more transparent and officers more accountable." The technology has proven its worth. For example, only 2.1% of citizen complaints filed in Chicago between 2010 and 2016 resulted in a disciplinary action against police officers, according to the Invisible Institute. Part of this was due to the fact that investigations were carried out internally by police departments with little outside input. A recent study found that today, with the use of video evidence, police officers are 64% more likely to be subject to disciplinary action after a complaint investigation.
Recording the footage is only part of the solution to best using video. That footage must also be widely distributed to help in identifying suspects. In doing so, departments have to be mindful of privacy issues of others who may have been recorded. Video redaction can be a time consuming process that wastes valuable hours. Today, departments are utilizing AI-enabled redaction cutting the process down to minutes.
Each administration issues a President's Management Agenda (PMA) that lays out several key goals around transforming the way government does "business." In his PMA, President Biden challenges agencies to "prove that government can deliver results." The guidance goes further to define success as results that are equitable, effective, and accountable. The PMA has three key areas of focus that aim to advance efforts currently in place with additional counsel and resources.
Priority 1: Strengthening and Empowering the Federal Workforce
The once feared "retirement tsunami" in reality has been a slow, steady wave, but incredibly impactful, nonetheless. As long-tenured federal employees retire, they take with them a valuable trove of knowledge - of what has worked and not worked overtime as well as how to navigate the bureaucracy of government. It is important to take that information out of employees' heads and document it in systems so that future teams have access to the experience.
Beyond retaining their knowledge, the role these employees play also needs replacing. Recruiting, training, and retaining are key focus areas of the PMA. To fill senior roles, existing employees need training to advance into these more strategic positions. For more tactical work, agencies are challenged to find ways to automate some manual efforts.
While the focus of government modernization has been transitioning government into the Cloud, NASA and Space Force have their sights set even further. Both organizations are focused on bringing "new knowledge and opportunities back to Earth."
Show Me the Data!
Data is critical to that mission. Using data, NASA leaders have set a goal to accelerate the time it takes to release innovations to the market by 25%. This data use challenge is common across government, and becomes even more complex when you have to get data from where it is to where it's needed and that movement involves data coming from space.
Being a new agency, Space Force is able to implement many digital born systems, but working with legacy data and systems is a constant challenge that requires innovative thinking. Critical to this is understanding a technology's application to a specific mission and effectively communicating its impact to leaders to help reduce barriers to changing "how it's always been done."
As we head towards the end of a second pandemic-influenced year, sports and entertainment facilities are back up to full capacity, albeit with varying levels of mask and vaccine requirements. This holiday season feels a bit more normal, as family gatherings are becoming routine and larger group celebrations are being reintroduced. With this shift to comfort in gathering, we wanted to take the pulse of the government community. As we've done twicebefore, we reached out to our members to gauge their interest in and readiness for professional events.
At the time of the survey fielding (November 2021), 73% of respondents said they would be comfortable attending an in-person event in 2022. Within this response, we looked at people who had responded "no" to attending in-person events on the last survey (August 2021), and about 50% of those people changed their response to"yes." In August, our survey found only 51% comfortable with attending an in-person event by the end of 2021, a 24% decrease from the responses in May. However, with the most recent rise in readiness back up to 73%, public comfort with in-person events is back to what it was in the spring of 2021.