The General Services Administration on Aug. 30 announced that it is now offering cloud based email services to federal agencies through 20 blanket purchase agreements awarded to 17 cloud service providers. According to GSA, transitioning to a cloud solution lowers the cost of email by up to 50 percent annually and saves $1 million for every 7,500 email boxes.
The Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative has launched a governmentwide marketplace for excess agency data center capacity, said Zach Baldwin, FDCCI project manager, during an Aug. 28 webinar. Right now the marketplace is limited to rack space, but the intention is for agencies in the future to offer up excess virtualized server capacity through a metered service, Baldwin said.
The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA are proposing a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation that would require contractors to secure computer systems that contain government information. If approved, the change would extend the requirements of FISMA to "contractor information systems that contain or process information provided by or generated for the Government." The extended cybersecurity obligation would include all information that resides in or transits through contractor systems, says the notice.
The General Services Administration last week posted online a digital metrics toolkit to help agencies analyze common performance and customer satisfaction metrics for their respective websites and other electronic services. By publishing the toolkit, GSA fulfills a requirement of the White House's Digital Government Strategy . "Every agency should have a metrics strategy to measure performance, customer satisfaction and engagement, and use the data to make continuous improvements to serve its customers," says GSA in the toolkit.
The General Services Administration unveiled a tool Aug. 16 allowing those with email addresses ending in .gov or .mil and a valid phone number to update or add to the registry of official federal social media accounts.
A security guard's poor judgment led him to bring a bomb inside the federal building where he worked and leave it at a security post for 21 days, the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general says. But the Federal Protective Service and the contractor who employed the guard also bear some responsibility, the OIG says in a redacted report (.pdf) dated July 27.
The application programming interface guidance coming in November will focus more on strategies than rules and requirements, said a General Services Administration official Aug. 8 at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in Washington, D.C. "The material coming out in November is not going to be overly prescriptive. It's not going to reach for the impossible," said Gray Brooks, API strategist at the GSA's digital services innovation center.
The federal government is in need of mobile tools that can be deployed to all agencies, or at the very least, to more than one, said David McClure, head of the General Services Administration office of citizen services and innovative technologies. He spoke Aug. 8 at the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.
As many as 77 General Services Administration conferences and award ceremonies are now under review by the agency's inspector general and Congress, said Committee Chair Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) during an Aug. 1 hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Brian Miller, GSA's inspector general, said an audit of executive compensation is also underway. While Miller said he cannot yet verify Mica's numbers, Mica said his committee believes some $10 million in bonuses were awarded to GSA employees in the last two years.
The new website --the System for Award Management--provides functionality previously found in three separate systems: the Central Contractor Registration, the Online Representations and Certifications Application and the Excluded Parties List System.