A new technology with potential government applications could make computer mice and touch interfaces obsolete with the wave of a finger. Consisting of a small motion-sensing unit and software, the Leap Motion controller allows users to manipulate graphic images and other data with hand motions.

The Leap controller is the size of a smart phone and sits in front of a computer monitor where it detects hand or stylus motions in an eight cubic foot space in front of the monitor and converts them into motion in the form of manipulated graphics, game control data, robot control or many other types of interface manipulation. Keep reading →

The Veterans Affairs Department’s move to a cloud-based email system for its employees is nothing if not meticulous. When fully rolled out, in 2014, the new platform will give about 400,000 VA users — and eventually up to 600,000 — an array of collaborative tools and eventually yield tens of millions of dollars in savings on IT infrastructure for the department, VA officials expect.

But for the near term, in a carefully planned first phase, the department plans to migrate 15,000 users to Microsoft 365 for Government within a separate community cloud, by the end of March, said Charles De Sanno, VA’s executive director of enterprise systems engineering. Keep reading →

This feature showcases one video each Friday that captures the essence of innovation, technology and new ideas happening in government today.

This week’s video is courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Description: Today’s veterans face numerous obstacles in their path of attaining a college degree, ranging from missing camaraderie to a lack of understanding by university students and faculty. However, a partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Student Veterans of America seeks to help.

The Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership program, or VITAL, is a program hosted by the VA that works to help Veterans in the transition from life on the field to life on a college campus. The program, currently in place at over 50 U.S. colleges, matches VA offices with their local colleges to help student veterans have better access to the benefits and support provided by the agency.

The uncertainty of 2012 has many pondering how to plan their federal Architecture, Engineering and Construction pipeline for the coming year. By getting back to basics, companies can balance trends found in three sources – historic federal spending , budget requests, and what potential opportunities are to be released in the next 12 to 18 months – to develop a business development plan for 2013. Keep reading →

The Department of Veterans Affairs will stand up a series of internal and external mobile apps in January to deliver veterans programs and help employees do a better job of delivering benefits.

Up to 100,000 employees handling patients’ clinical information and veteran’s benefits eventually will be able to access the mobile apps to manage records while moving around units and facilities, VA CIO Roger Baker said, easing and streamlining processes and eliminating delays that have often characterized the VA’s handling of benefits. In addition, mobile apps for veterans will offer easy access to benefits and claim status. Keep reading →

This is the first in a series of articles about innovation at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A collaborative effort to combine data previously scattered across multiple federal agencies has led to a single portal where veterans can access key benefits. Keep reading →

The Partnership for Public Service honored the nine winners of this year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals at a Washington, D.C. gala Thursday evening.

This video features Susan Angell of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Mark Johnston of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, winners of the Citizen Services medal. Angell and Johnston worked together on an interdepartmental program that reduced veterans homelessness by 12 percent in one year. Keep reading →

Dr. Barclay Butler, Director, DOD/VA Interagency Program Office

Since rebooting efforts nearly a year ago to merge their electronic health care management and record keeping systems, the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs have made what top officials described as considerable progress after the program was in danger of slipping its schedule. Keep reading →

It’s been a year since the Obama Administration launched a major veteran hiring initiative calling on private industry to partner in an effort to secure employment for military families.

The effort — which has involved the Department of Veterans Affairs and the expanding role of IT in federal agencies — has since resulted in job opportunities for more than 125,000 veterans and their spouses. Keep reading →

While officials are making progress implementing upgrades at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC), a GAO report has cited costly IT delays for the VA and DoD.

Despite an investment of more than $122 million for IT capabilities at the FHCC (pictured above), the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense have not completed work on all components required by an Executive Agreement, which were to have been in place in time for the FHCC’s opening in October 2010. Keep reading →

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