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Implementation of IT Reform Law and Related Initiatives Can Help Improve Acquisitions

Information Technology: Implementation of IT Reform Law and Related Initiatives Can Help Improve Acquisitions, GAO-17-494T: Published: Mar 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2017. “The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) was enacted in December 2014 to improve federal information technology (IT) acquisitions and can help federal agencies reduce duplication and achieve cost savings.… Continue Reading

A New Home for Google Open Source

Google Open Source Blog: “Free and open source software has been part of our technical and organizational foundation since Google’s early beginnings. From servers running the Linux kernel to an internal culture of being able to patch any other team’s code, open source is part of everything we do. In return, we’ve released millions of… Continue Reading

The Financial Action Task Force: An Overview

The Financial Action Task Force: An Overview, James K. Jackson, Specialist in International Trade and Finance, March 23, 2017. [CRS report via FAS] “The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, or the 9/11 Commission, recommended that tracking terrorist financing “must remain front and center in U.S. counter terrorism efforts” (see The 9/11… Continue Reading

Collective Bargaining and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute: Selected Legal Issues

CRS – Collective Bargaining and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute: Selected Legal Issues, Jon O. Shimabukuro, Legislative Attorney, March 21, 2017. [via FAS] “Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, commonly referred to as the “Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute” (FSLMRS), recognizes the right of most federal employees to engage in… Continue Reading

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense – Issues for Congress

CRS – A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress, updated March 23, 2017. Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs. “World events have led some observers, starting in late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment has undergone a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the past… Continue Reading

Congressional Redistricting Law: Background and Recent Court Rulings

CRS – Congressional Redistricting Law: Background and Recent Court Rulings, March 23, 2017. [via FAS] “In addition to various state processes, the legal framework for congressional redistricting involves constitutional and federal statutory requirements.Interpreting these requirements, in a series of cases and evolving jurisprudence, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued rulings that have significantly shaped how… Continue Reading

Methane and natural gas leaks tracked using Google Earth street view

Futurism – Google Earth’s Street View cars are being used for more than just maps: scientists have equipped them with pollution trackers so they can help spot natural gas leaks. “…A team led by researchers from the Colorado State University (CSU), the Environmental Defense Fund, and Google Earth Outreach came up with a creative way… Continue Reading

MIT – FBI’s Facial Recognition Program Is Sprawling and Inaccurate

Around half of all adult Americans are on the agency’s image database, and its software is incorrect 15 percent of the time, Jamie Condliffe, March 27, 2017. “Last year, we learned about the remarkable scale of the FBI’s facial-recognition technology, with its access to nearly 412 million photos—many originating from sources unrelated to crime, such… Continue Reading

A Century of Women in Congress

Follow up to March is Women’s History Month – see A Century of Women in Congress – “On November 7, 1916, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. To commemorate the centennial of her November 1916 election and April 1917 swearing-in as a U.S. Representative, the Office of… Continue Reading

CRS – Russia: Background and U.S. Interests

Russia: Background and U.S. Interests, March 1, 2017 (R44775) “Since 1991, Congress has played a key role in the development of U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation (Russia), the principal successor to the United States’ former superpower rival, the Soviet Union. In that time, U.S.-Russian relations have gone through positive and negative periods. Each new… Continue Reading

OECD – How Better Governance Can Help Rebuild Public Trust

Trust and Public Policy – How Better Governance Can Help Rebuild Public Trust. OECD, 27 Mar 2017. Pages: 160. ISBN: 9789264268920 (PDF) ;9789264268913(print). DOI: 10.1787/9789264268920-en “Trust plays a very tangible role in the effectiveness of government. Few perceptions are more palpable than that of trust or its absence. Governments ignore this at their peril. Yet,… Continue Reading