The U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) shift from a focus on counterterrorism to one of near-peer rivals has highlighted the need to incorporate emerging technologies into the DoD faster than ever before. To keep up with the technological advances of peer nations, it is critical that the DoD speed the time to the field of technologies that can give our troops an advantage in terms of intelligence, data sharing, and visibility. But in this need for speed, the security and the reliability of these solutions cannot be ignored.
DoD is successfully striking the balance of speed, innovation, and reliability with several recent implementations of emerging technology.Continue reading →
Beyond its important mission of "caring for those who have served in our nation's military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors," the work of today's U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is guided by a strategic plan that lays out agency goals to be achieved through 2028. The projects the VA initiates over the coming years will support the following goals:
Consistently communicate with customers and partners to assess and maximize performance, evaluate needs, and build long-term relationships and trust
Deliver timely, accessible, and high-quality benefits, care, and services
Build and maintain trust through proven stewardship, transparency, and accountability
Strive toward excellence in all business operations--including governance, systems, data, and management
Several recent programs illustrate the commitment that the VA has to meeting and exceeding these goals by 2028 and beyond.Continue reading →
Improving equity for citizens is a key goal of the Biden Administration. At the same time, agencies across government are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to better use data for a variety of tasks and decision making. Seeing the increasing role of AI in day-to-day operations, the government is looking for ways to ensure that the technology is used fairly and safely without impinging on the innovation being felt by AI adoption in government.
Geospatial data ties information to a location. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) layers this location data over any other data set, creating some important insight for public policy, infrastructure, and citizen service planning in a number of areas.
Sustainability - perhaps the most obvious use of geospatial data is in helping understand the current environment. With a view of air quality, tree cover, water levels, and more, communities can not only monitor ongoing changes but model what impact new construction or programs could have on an area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created an interactive map to help state and local leaders understand the environmental burdens on their communities' health. Combining 36 health, social and environmental indicators, the application assigns an environmental justice score per census tract. This allows officials to see and then prioritize action for vulnerable areas. If a local government is looking to add a manufacturing plant, they can not only see what current pollution levels are, but can also determine if an area is made up of largely non-English speakers so that they know how best to communicate and involve the community in decisions about the plant.
Policing - The Justice Department is looking for proposals that apply geospatial data to track criminal activity affecting businesses and neighborhoods. Understanding where and when incidents occur and who may be involved helps police departments target patrols and implement programs that can help prevent incidents.
Public health - The Washington Department of Health's GeoHUB layers various department datasets over location information. Geospatial information helps pinpoint access to services across the state. Staff can analyze the state's transportation network and the location of, say, dialysis facilities to identify where residents do not have easy access. Presenting this information on a map makes it more digestible than having to parse out information from multiple charts and graphs.
Elections - State elections divisions use geospatial information and systems to enhance the efficiency and utility of election systems. A huge problem is ensuring addresses are correctly aligned to the right precincts so when people register to vote they are assigned the right polling place. Precinct lines are changed on the local level while registration frequently happens at the state level. Mapping addresses with precincts in real time allows for more accurate assignments.
The 15th Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard was issued in December 2022 to provide a look at how agencies are meeting modernization goals. Much like the 14th report, all measured agencies improved their scores or stayed the same indicating that changes are needed to ensure the report fully reflects today's modernization goals that have shifted from data center consolidation to cloud usage, and onward to Zero Trust cybersecurity strategies. The committee overseeing the scorecard, as well as industry groups, are looking at ways to better align modernization activities with the report.
FITARA 15 Findings
Currently, the seven active grading categories on the scorecard are: 1) progress in transitioning to EIS contracts; 2) CIO authority enhancements; 3) transparency and risk management; 4) portfolio review; 5) data center consolidation; 6) Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act; and 7) cybersecurity/FISMA.Continue reading →