News Feature | June 11, 2014

Government IT News For VARs — June 11, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs

In the news this week, California leads the way in government Big Data innovation, and the General Services Administration faces contract-stopping protests.

Proposition 42 Stimulates Big Data Innovation In California

According to Fox And Hounds Daily, Proposition 42, the constitutional amendment that requires that local governments must comply with state open record laws, passed with little fanfare. The amendment will force local agencies to provide key sets of data that have previously been unavailable. It will allow the state access to vital sets of public information, allowing policymakers and technologists to create better solutions for the public. It’s also expected that the legislation will allow for the “uberization” of public services, opening the door to a new kind of hybrid solution, combing the efforts of government and private industry.

Protests Force GSA To Suspend Government-Wide Contract

The GSA suspended the government-wide, Office Supplies 2 strategic sourcing contract, according to Federal News Radio. The contract, which expired on May 31, was considered for extension, but then cancelled after protests from 11 vendors. The initial protest, filed by Coast-to-Coast Computer Products, claims that the contract extension violates the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The GSA currently faces more than two dozen bid protests over the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative.

Nano Barcodes Could Advance Forensics

The introduction of invisible, indestructible “bar codes” into trace amounts of explosives, could mean that bombs will become tracked as easily as firearms. The nano particles, according to Geek.com, which contain specific melting points, have been tested in TNT, and were traceable even after the explosive was detonated. If the technology is further developed, explosive residue could be tracked back to both supplier and possibly the point of sale, speeding up terror investigations and making anonymous, domestic bomb making much more difficult. The particles could also be used to trace drugs or money.

Navy Launching Enterprise Records Management System

The U.S. Navy plans on deploying a prototype, enterprise-wide records and task management software system in 2015. The system is designed to replace existing, duplicative systems. It is expected that the system will reduce the complexity and cost that comes with running multiple software suites. An audible records management and task management system (that is compliant with the Defense Department and federal IT standards) will be provided by Tasking, Records, and Consolidated Knowledge Enterprise Repository (TRACKER). Read more at InformationWeek.

New FedRAMP Security Controls Issued

According to NextGov.com, The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program released new security controls and templates for agencies and CSPs for use in navigation of the updated initiative requirements. The updates are reflective of changes to the National Institute Of Standards And Technology Special Publication 800-53 security control baseline. The move isn’t just about upgrading cloud security in government though. It has also led to significant savings across the board. Before FedRAMP, each deployment would cost upwards of one quarter of $1 million. The GSA has released guidance providing specific direction to CSPs at varying stages of FedRAMP accreditation.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Government IT Resource Center.

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