Weekly Roundup: January 22-26, 2024

This post first appeared on IBM Business of Government. Read the original article.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Articles & insights in public management & leadership for the week ending January 26, 2024

TMF funds 3 more agency projects to improve IT, customer service. The TMF is investing more than $70 million in a new wave of IT projects to modernize legacy IT and enable a higher level of customer service. Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana said in a statement that the TMF investments will “strengthen cybersecurity, reduce burden for the federal workforce so they can focus on mission, and improve trust with the millions counting on the DOJ, GSA, and the Armed Forces Retirement Home to deliver government services.” The Office of Management and Budget in June 2023 announced the TMF would award $100 million to projects that cut wait times for public-facing federal services, as well as excessive paperwork and other barriers. 

DHS Deputy CIO: Security, Workforce High on 2024 Priorities List. Beth Cappello, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputy chief information officer who is set to leave her post later this year, this week talked about the agency’s tech to-do list for 2024 and indicated that further work to mature agency security, and to boost its cybersecurity workforce, are prominent on the horizon. Cappello said DHS is focusing on moving forward with zero trust security work across the highly federated agency, and in particular the identity pillar in the Zero Trust Maturity Model.

NGA Shopping $290M Contract for GEOINT Capabilities. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is soliciting proposals for Luno A, a $290 million contract to acquire unclassified commercial geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) derived computer vision and analytic service capabilities. The five-year contract will expand access to data and services for the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG), accelerate analytic workflow modernization objectives, and integrate data and services into enterprise capabilities.

Air Force Research Lab Features AI on 2024 Tech Priorities List. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has put artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy technologies on its list of top research priorities for 2024, along with a host of areas more specific to weapons systems. In its 2024 Air Dominance Board Agency Announcement (BAA) published on Jan. 11, AFRL said it is looking for input from industry on 13 different research areas.

DoD CIO Launches Customer Experience Office. Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Sherman has officially launched a Customer Experience Officer (CXO) Portfolio Management Office. The CIO first announced plans to set up a new CXO office back in August 2023, with an aim to boost customer experience across the Pentagon’s broad information technology (IT) enterprise. According to senior Pentagon leaders, the new office will provide a comprehensive approach to managing user experience as a portfolio that ensures a consistent and focused effort with result-driven measures and accountability.

CIA CIO: AI Can Help Us Better Combat Future Threats. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to flip the cyber threat landscape paradigm by helping defenders better mitigate future threats, a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said on Thursday. During a Jan. 25 Palo Alto Network webinar, La’Naia Jones, CIA’s chief information officer (CIO) and director of Information Technology Enterprise, explained that AI has the capability to help cyber defenders rapidly deduce threats and limit risk factors.

Expert’s proof proves telework works. It’s one thing to be controlled at work. Everyone has dealt with controlling bosses and co-workers. It’s another thing to be in control of your work and your life. One thing can make the difference. For what it is, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with longtime federal management professor Bob Tobias.

Federal improper payments roll on and on, year after year. Among the most frustrating are fraudulent unemployment benefits, federal dollars that get spent by the states. Last fall, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that as much as 15% of pandemic-era unemployment spending went to fraudsters, or as much as $135 billion. For a review of GAO recommendations, Seto Bagdoyan, GAO’s Director of Forensic Audits provides insight.


NEW BLOGS. Along with releasing our new book, Transforming the Business of Government: Insights on Resiliency, Innovation, and Performance, we began a blog series that excerpts the 15 chapters that compose this book. This week we posted Chapter 10 – Using Linked Administrative Data to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking and Chapter 11Toward More Useful Federal Oversight. Here are the other blogs and chapters posted thus far: Introduction, Chapter One – Emergency Preparedness and Response , Chapter Two – Cybersecurity, Chapter Three – Supply Chain, Chapter Four – Sustainability, Chapter Five – Workforce , Chapter Six – Eight Areas for Government Action – Insights on Resiliency, Chapter Seven – AI Literacy: A Prerequisite for the Future of AI and Automation in Government, Chapter Eight — Design Principles for Responsible Use of AI to Enhance Customer Experience Using Public Procurement and Chapter Nine – Quantum Technology Challenge: What Role for the Government?

NEW REPORT. How Can AI Drive Better Taxpayer Experience and Improved Tax Agency Operations? The IBM Center, in collaboration with the American University Kogod School of Business Tax Policy Center, recently hosted a global discussion on AI and the Modern Tax Agency. The findings inform the release of a new report, AI and the Modern Tax Agency, by Caroline Bruckner and Collin Coil with the AU Kogod Tax Policy center.

ICYMI – Transforming the Taxpayer Experience: A Conversation with Karen Howard, Executive Director, Office of Online Services, Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This week Michael Keegan welcomed Karen Howard for an engaging discussion on her efforts to transform online services at IRS. They explored such topics as efforts to advance digital services, enhance customer experience, and leverage AI and other emerging technologies to meet mission. 

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