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Continuing an effort to make records more accessible to the public, the National Archives Catalog now contains more than 200 million digitized pages. The National Archives and Records Administration has a goal of reaching 500 million digitized pages by September 2026.
After three years of running a program called “Veterans Employment Through Technology Education,” designed to teach veterans technology, the VA doesn’t know if the program is successful or how to improve it. The pilot program ends in two years, and the Government Accountability Office wants the VA to make it better. GAO wants VA to figure out why 13% of veterans dropped out of the program since it started in 2019.
The Army is aiming to take the lead on a key software security initiative. The Army wants to be the first agency to successfully use Software Bills of Material (SBOMs). The service is asking for feedback on draft contract language that would require vendors to deliver SBOMs. The bills are machine-readable inventories of code intended to help developers and consumers better understand dependencies and risks in software. The Army is among many agencies considering how to use SBOMs to improve the security of their software supply chains. (Army diving ‘headfirst’ into SBOMs to secure software supply chain – Federal News Network)
The Veterans Affairs Department has improved the information it publishes on staffing and vacancies. Based on recommendations from VA’s Office of Inspector General, the department now includes all steps in the hiring process. VA also better explains vacant positions, and includes part-time openings as well. Finally, VA added contextual information to improve interpretations of the data.
A new contract to bring innovative healthcare solutions to the VA is open for business. The Department of Veterans Affairs now has 17 vendors to choose from to fast-track the design, development and testing of healthcare innovations. VA awarded spots to these companies under its Accelerating VA Innovation and Learning (AVAIL) vehicle. This five-year contract has a ceiling of $650 million. The Veterans Health Administration and the Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning can work with these firms to buy products and services across five task areas including personalized healthcare, data transformation and digital health. VA said its goal with AVAIL is to use emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and telehealth to transform the care experience and services.
The AbilityOne program is the latest agency to win some extra funding from the Technology Modernization Fund. The TMF Board awarded AbilityOne almost $2 million to modernize its Procurement List Information Management System (PLIMS) software. AbilityOne uses PLIMs to connect employers of individuals who are blind, or who have significant disabilities, with agency customers. With the extra funding, AbilityOne will enhance system accessibility and create a more secure system. The current PLIMS, which is obsolete, with no original manufacturer support, contains significant security risks, duplicated data and poor usability and accessibility.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is aiming to make relationship management a core competency for its employees. That’s just one goal under CISA’s new stakeholder engagement strategic plan. It laid out the agency’s strategy for partnering with state and local governments, the private sector, and other key stakeholders on its cyber and physical security missions. CISA also plans to design its next generation Services Catalog to make it easier for people to find and use the agency’s products and services.
The new White House cyber office continues staffing up. Anjana Rajan is now the assistant national cyber director for technology security, joining National Cyber Director Chris Inglis’s growing team. Rajan is a technology executive and entrepreneur, who previously served as chief technology officer of Polaris, an anti-human trafficking organization. She most recently was an entrepreneur in residence at Cornell Tech.