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NSA Director says surveillance prevented 50 terror threats – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Default open data; that was one of the big takeaways from the Digital Government Strategy released last year. But the DGS was a bit murkey on how agencies should implement open data. The White House has formalized that dilemma with the Open Data Directive released in May. Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander told a House committee Tuesday that 50 terror threats in 20 countries have been disrupted with the assistance of two secret surveillance programs recently disclosed by former defense contractor Edward Snowden, reports Federal Times. At least 10 of the plots targeted the U.S. homeland, Alexander told the House Intelligence Committee, including a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.
  2. A measure to increase the budget authority of federal CIOs and to change IT procurement was added as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill on June 14. The overall National Defense Authorization Act passed the House by a vote of 315 to 108. But FCW reports, lawmakers removed language that appeared to tip the scales in favor of open source over proprietary software – a change sought by many in industry.
  3. Two key senators on Tuesday endorsed the nomination of Dan Tangherlini to be permanent head of the General Services Administration, reports Federal Times. Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said they would vote to confirm the current acting administrator for the post.
  4. DISA awarded Microsoft a five year contract with a total value of $412.2 million for technical and support services throughout the Defense Department, a pact that includes access to the company’s closely-held software source code, reports NextGov. The contract also provides Defense users with access to Microsoft consultants as well as software and product developers.
  5. The Veterans Affairs Department finished installing its paperless Veterans Benefits Management System last week in all 56 of its regional offices. VBMS is key to helping the department eliminate its backlog of disability claims, reports NextGov.
  6. Malcolm Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief information officer and assistant administrator in the Office of Environmental Information, is returning to the private sector, reports Federal News Radio. Jackson has been a frequent guest on the DorobekINSIDER.
  7. And on GovLoop: Here is a staggering stat: 130 millions Americans own a smartphone, including roughly 1 out of 2 adults. That’s a technology that wasn’t even around 5 years ago. So how can government leverage this technology to connect, engage and empower government employees and the general public? Tune in to find out with the DorobekINISDER LIVE panel on June 26th at noon ET. Register for the free online webinar now.

DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • CIO JOURNAL:Next-generation workplace requires next-generation IT. As companies recognize productivity gains from enabling individual and team productivity, IT must develop stronger mechanisms to engage with employees, writes guest columnist Shvetank Shah. Rather than wait for the business to tell IT what it needs, IT should adapt techniques used in consumer product marketing to identify, test, and fulfill unarticulated employee needs. “Across all IT delivery activities, user experience will become a critical metric and skill,” Mr. Shah writes.
  • NYT: The Unspoken Stigma of Workplace FlexibilityHootSuite: 7 Unexpected (but Great) Ways the gov is Using Social Media
    • Assume for a moment that your employer let you decide when and where you worked — you might arrive early so you could leave in time to care for a child, or work part of the week from home. Or perhaps you want to reduce your hours for a while to care for an aging parent. How would you be perceived if you raised your hand for one of these options? “Many times these policies are on the books, but informally everyone knows you are penalized for using them,” said Joan C. Williams, founding director of the Center for Work-Life Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, referring to the array of flexible work arrangements some employers offer. “I invented the term ‘flexibility stigma’ to describe that phenomenon. Recent studies have found that it is alive and well, and it functions quite differently for women than it does for men.”

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