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News Roundup: This Week’s GovIT Innovators

shutterstock_150003005Which agencies are on the innovators list?  This week’s ModernGOV IT innovators roundup features a selection of stories highlighting the agencies and leaders who are embracing change, not for its own sake, but to provide more services, more efficiently to their end users. From fighting identity theft to bringing innovation to procurement and hiring practices, this week we’re featuring stories from the Internal Revenue Service, the CIA, and the Army.  Read on to find out to see what innovations these agencies are introducing and how they’re revolutionizing how agencies meet their missions.

IRS Creates Dedicated Cybercrime Unit to Combat ID Theft

In response to the rising tide of phishing attacks being tied to identity theft and tax fraud, the Internal Revenue Service has created a dedicated cyber crime unit.  Most commonly, criminals in Africa and Eastern Europe using phishing campaigns to obtain personally identifiable information that can then be used to take ownership of Social Security numbers, bank accounts, and other important financial instruments.  While information is stolen all year long, many people only discover that their identity has been compromised when, as the article points out, “they attempt to collect their legitimate refund and are told it has already been paid.”

CIA Director Brennan Creates Directorate of Digital Innovation

For the first time in 50 years, the CIA has a new directorate.  Director Brennan, unveiled his modernization plans with the introduction of the Directorate of Digital Innovation.  The newest part of the CIA is tasked with integrating all elements of the digital world from social media to big data analytics to cyber security tools in order to equip teams in HQ and in the field with the intelligence they need.  From the sounds of what John Brennan has been discussing recently, the announcement of this new directorate is just the beginning of an on-going process of modernization within the agency to ensure that the CIA is prepared for the new global threat landscape.

Top Army Contracting Official Wants More Opportunity for Flexibility in Tech Buys

Multiple review cycles, burdensome documentation procedures, extensive development and operations testing and enormous layers of oversight make it difficult to actually take chances on new, unproven technology, said Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology at a recent event.  Ms. Shyu is looking to the Department of Defense and Congress to ease the burden of oversight in order to boost the opportunity to equip the warfighter with the tools they need to meet the mission.

OPM Brings Flexibility to Hiring…for Digital Services

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has carved out a significant exception to hiring rules for new government workers entering into digital services roles to support the President’s Management Agenda’s Smarter IT Delivery Initiative projects.  Currently, twenty-five agencies are included in the program from NASA to the Department of Justice and appointments can be extended in yearly increments through September 2017.  Agency executives, including Department of Transportation CIO, Richard McKinney, applaud the decision to enable hiring flexibility.





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