Almost all agencies have established goals for their enterprise architecture, but executing on those goals is another challenge entirely, according to a Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) published Sept. 26. All 27 agencies reviewed in the report have fully or partially-defined goals, but only 11 have fully or partially established metrics for assessing their architectures and only five have fully or partially measured outcomes and benefits, say report authors.
"At that point you're stepping into something that's not the province of the assistant secretary for information and technology," said Baker during a Sept. 26 press call. "You're really getting into the business and the HR side of things--how they would decide to handle those things."
Veterans Affairs Department Chief Information Officer Roger Baker spoke with reporters Sept. 26 about the department's most recent data breach report and other matters. Baker said there would be a number of contract awards coming out of VA's IT office before Sunday, Sept. 30, the end of Fiscal 2012. "There will be about a half a billion dollars of awards in September out of the IT organization," he said.
The Veterans Affairs Department plans to expand its PE Coach mobile app, which helps patients suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, to gather data on PTSD symptoms and outcomes. VA says a new PTSD application suite will be able to gather data and measure PTSD symptoms. The department plans to use the data to improve clinical services.
The White House released Sept. 14 a report (.pdf) to Congress outlining the impact of sequestration on the federal government. It calculates that sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent cut to non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent cut to non-exempt, non-defense discretionary funding. It would also impose cuts of 2 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt non-defense mandatory programs, and 10 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs, says OMB.
Portable devices--though not necessarily mobile devices--have been responsible for the greatest number of data breaches from 2009 onward, says an analysis by a Boston-based cybersecurity firm Rapid7. From Jan. 1, 2009 through May 31, 2012 mislaid, stolen portable devices or discarded portable devices caused records with the personally identifiable information of 80.7 million individuals to be breached.
The House Appropriations committee Sept. 10 released the text of a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government through March 27, 2013. If passed, the bill removes the threat of an Oct. 1 government shutdown, as the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and Congress has yet to pass a fiscal 2013 budget.
The Veterans Affairs Department still holds that a formal bring your own device, or BYOD, policy is in the works. But with an iOS device pilot 10 months underway and a slow-going mobile device management acquisition, VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker says he's happy to see VA won't be blazing the trail into unfamiliar BYOD territory. "I think VA has thankfully gone from being a leader in the discussion about BYOD to being a follower and I am really happy with that," said Baker.
The Veterans Affairs Department requires Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA, code to be refactored in an open and collaborative way, said VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker during an Aug. 24 press call. Some open source advocates questioned VA's Aug. 15 contract award to Tampa, Fla.-based Ray Group International. The $4.47 million sole-source contract for technological support in making VistA "more modular and easier for developers to work with" led some to believe Ray Group would refactor VistA code in isolation.
Veterans Affairs Department Chief Information Officer Roger Baker spoke with reporters Aug. 24 about the department's most recent data breach report (.pdf) and other matters, such as VA's plan to consolidate mobile device and wireless services contracts into streamlined, national contracts in early fiscal 2013. Baker said the consolidation strategy has expanded beyond wireless.