One way to innovate is by learning from the past — what did or did not work. The troubled rollout of healthcare.gov provided one such opportunity, leading to five best practices for how government can use big data. Welcome to the weekly news kickoff. Enjoy these highlights.
5 Best Practices for Turning Big Data Into Better Government
Before a standing-room-only crowd at FedScoop’s Data Innovation Summit 2015, Mina Hsiang, health data advisor at the U.S. Digital Service, used the rollout of healthcare.gov to offer five tips on how government can use big data to provide a better user experience for constituents. Tip No. 1 is to deploy analytics to watch how users actually use your sites. Read the article on FCW for all five tips.
Governmentwide FOIA Request Backlog Jumped by 70% in 2014
According to the Department of Justice, the number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that weren’t fulfilled by federal agencies spiked by 70% in fiscal 2014, compared with the previous year, FierceGovernment reports. That’s more than double the increase the government saw between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013, says the Justice Department’s annual FOIA report. If your agency faces a backlog of requests, on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, Iron Mountain will host a webinar on how agencies can address this and other challenges associated with records management. Register for the webinar.
NIST Preparing More Cloud Security Control Guidance to Complement FedRAMP
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is working on new guidance to address the distribution and placement of security controls for cloud computing, FierceGovernmentIT reports. Agencies may compare cloud providers that appear to meet the same security baselines when in fact the providers are implementing security controls in different places in the technology stack. NIST Special Publication 800-174 will provide a “cloud overlay” to reference each control in the agency’s security catalog, NIST SP 800-53 revision 4 (pdf). That’s also the foundational reference document for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
Agencies Should Plan for Budget Cuts in 2017
Under new budget guidance, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says Federal agencies should plan to cut their budgets in 2017, Federal Times reports. OMB says civilian and defense agencies should prepare 2017 proposals that cut 5 percent of their discretionary budgets from the fiscal 2017 levels laid out in President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal, while making room for administration priorities.
Navy Sets Course on New Cyber Strategy
Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, this week released the Navy’s Strategic Plan to guide the service for the next five years in the cyber domain, Defense Systems reports. The document echoes sentiments that many DoD officials have shared recently with members of Congress — that the Navy’s “longstanding technology advantages (superior intelligence and network technologies) are eroding steadily” and that most adversaries are exploiting “information-based capabilities and technologies for their own use.” The new strategy addresses both internal and external threats to address these issues.