The Latest

Whether the government’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan has actually worked may be the stuff of contentious political debate, but even partisans seem to agree that the processes and systems designed to track that money are helping to lay the foundation for better transparency and accountability in government spending.

Case in point: Rep. Darryl Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a vociferous advocate of transparency and accountability in federal spending, said that while he continues to have concerns about “the effectiveness and prudence” of President Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board [RAT Board] has provided “a commendable model of transparency…the tremendous success of the RAT Board is worthy of replication throughout the federal bureaucracy.” Keep reading →

Three recent studies, one of which was reported here last week, confirm what many of us have long suspected: leadership in the federal government is overdue for a major overhaul.

If the administration is serious about cutting costs and driving innovation, then rethinking how supervisors, managers, and executives are selected, developed, and promoted must become a top priority. Keep reading →

One of the great lures of a career in government has been the promise of a relatively certain if not a generous retirement program.

But many federal employees are having to confront an alternative scenario as more than a dozen agencies are now seeking to reduce their payrolls with buyout and early out packages. Keep reading →

COMMENTARY:
The cyber threats we face today routinely transcend industries, geographic boarders as well as government, military, and business domains. The impact of the aggressive cyber attacks we have witnessed recently, however, have become so substantial that it has now reached priority status in the executive suite.

“C” level executives are now routinely involved when their organizations experience one of these attacks. That is a departure from what we have seen. Keep reading →

A White House memo giving chief information officers at federal agencies greater responsibilities to reduce wasteful technology spending comes up short in giving CIOs the added authority many believe they need to make a significant impact, say current and former government IT officials.

The memo, issued by Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew on Aug. 8, notified U.S. department and agency chiefs that the CIOs working for them have been tasked with greater roles and responsibilities by OMB, as well as greater accountability, in controlling technology spending. Keep reading →


I was recently asked to present my Linked Open Data work to the Data.gov Semantic Web and Linked Open Data Team.

One of the examples I presented was work being done by The New York Times and its efforts to catalog headings and topics. It represents a best practice example of what government agencies could and should do and I wanted to share that with our readers to help you understand the value of doing this with high-quality data sets.

For the last 150 years, The New York Times has maintained one of the most authoritative news vocabularies ever developed. In 2009, they began to publish this vocabulary using a methodology known as linked open data (illustrated above). The New York Times also uses approximately 30,000 tags to power their Times Topics Pages.

It is their intention to publish all of these tags as linked open data. Linked open data enables all of us to use the NY Times data and other data. In the illustration above, each circle represents a source of linked data and the other sources of data it is linked (related) to.

I have published both NY Times data sets as linked open data in Spotfire, a software tool that captures data in convenient ways, so readers can more readily browse, search, and download these invaluable data sets! This Spotfire chart is published to the cloud as are the documentation of this story in the MindTouch Technical Communication Suite.


Please give me your feedback on this data chart and suggestions for future data charts and stories! [email protected]

The new National Mall App from the National Park Service allows iPhone or iPad users to take along a tour guide during a stroll around Washington, D.C.’s memorials and monuments.

The newly released app allows users to take virtual tours, view maps, send postcards and get news updates on more than 70 sites. Keep reading →

The nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security said Congress has “failed” America’s first responders by not acting on legislation that would dedicate wireless communications spectrum to a nationwide, interoperable, public safety network and said it is unlikely anything will pass before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“It’s wrong. It’s really wrong for them to have failed these first responders,” said Tom Ridge, appointed by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to lead the homeland security effort, and who subsequently became America’s first Secretary of Homeland Security in 2003. Keep reading →


The sheer size of the Department of Defense (DoD) makes streamlining IT operations or changing IT investment management daunting, yet this size makes the payoff of successes that much greater.

To achieve these successes, we are looking to reap the benefits of today’s leading edge thinking and technologies in many of the IT management efforts we have underway. Several of our initiatives dovetail nicely with the 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management, such as the IT Enterprise Strategy and Roadmap and cloud computing strategy that the Department is currently developing. Keep reading →


“November 5, 2011 – Anonymous hackers promise to destroy Facebook.” See Live Feed.

A headline and story this morning that caught my eye: Hackers Again Target Transit Police Union Site. The hacker group Anonymous again targeted a California transit agency that came under fire last week for turning off cell phone service in its stations to thwart a potential protest. Hackers gained access to the web site and posted personal information about more than 100 officers. Keep reading →

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