Making government more effective through data sharing


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  • A road map from the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking is looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government through data sharing. Included in the commission’s new report is a list of recommendations to create a National Secure Data Service and asking Congress to lift certain bans on data use and collection. (Committee on Evidence-Based Policymaking)
  • The intelligence community wants to come to terms with its big data challenge. Leaders of the intelligence community wrestle with how best to take advantage of the growing treasure trove of data across the 17 agencies. Robert Cardillo, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said the commoditization of information is forcing his agency to put a larger focus on what the data really means to the mission areas. Melissa Drisko, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the growth of machine learning is forcing her agency to relook at the roles of DIA’s analysts.
  • An update on the intelligence community’s other search for ways to hurry up the security clearance process. Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon said the government needs a system that moves quickly and allows employees to move between agencies. (Federal News Radio)
  • The National Treasury Employees Union is on a mission to change the way the average American sees the federal workforce. It recently launched a campaign sending public service announcements to more than 10,000 TV stations, creating a new website and fact cards for social media. It aims to portray feds as middle class workers from all 50 states, rather than elite Washington bureaucrats. (Federal News Radio)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants more answers on improper payments. In a letter to seven agencies including Treasury, Labor, and USDA, McCaskill requested the status of each agency’s implementation of their inspectors general recommendations, to improve compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee)
  • A new initiative from the Veterans Affairs Department will aim to speed up claims responses. The Decision Ready Claims program works with accredited Veterans Service Organizations to respond to disability claims within thirty days. Under the program, VSOs handle advanced preparation, such as gathering medical exams and military records, allowing “to allow” the VA to begin processing claims immediately. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • The Navy said it’s considering overworked crews as one possible factor in its string of accidents in the Asia-Pacific. An internal Navy study found the average workweek for sailors in the 7th fleet amounted to 108 hours on-duty — well above the service’s standard allocation of 81 hours. Working conditions are just one factor the Navy’s examining during a comprehensive review of the deadly collisions involving the U.S.S. John McCain and the U.S.S. Fitzgerald. But officials said it’s already clear that the service needs to renew its focus on basic seamanship for the sailors serving in its surface fleet, including navigation skills. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy secretary weighed in on the string of accidents in the Seventh Fleet. Sec. Richard Spencer said Navy brass will consult companies with experience in accident response. Defense News reported, Spencer promised not just a review of Seventh Fleet operations, but also a strategic review of the whole Navy. BP, famous for its Gulf of Mexico leak, and Crowley Maritime are among the companies from which the Navy will seek advice. (Defense News)
  • The Air Force isn’t the only military branch that needs to figure out how to keep pilots on the payroll. Military Times reports the Army has considered a new set of retention bonuses to encourage experienced pilots to stay on. Though it has more certified aviators than it needs, it continues to have trouble keeping people on as pilots once they have finished their initial service obligations. (Military Times)