News in Brief

Hashmi takes over, Salesforce gets FedRAMP OK, the FCC on IPv6 and more

GSA CIO Sonny Hashmi (Photo by Zaid Hamid)

Sonny Hashmi, who had been the General Services Administration's acting CIO since January, now officially gets the job. (Photo: Zaid Hamid for FCW)

Hashmi moves into official CIO role at GSA

Sonny Hashmi has been named CIO at the General Services Administration, officially taking over the spot he has occupied on an acting basis since the January departure of Casey Coleman.

Hashmi joined GSA in January 2011 as deputy CIO and chief technology officer.

“During his time at GSA, Sonny has led many IT modernization initiatives, including the agency’s adoption of cloud for email, collaboration, and applications as well as creating agile practices for cloud development,” GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a statement.

Hashmi came to GSA as the executive in charge of leading the agency’s cloud computing program and was instrumental in the “Drive to the Cloud” initiative, as well as in the consolidation of thousands of legacy applications into about 100 cloud-based apps.

A 2013 Federal 100 winner, Hashmi is also a finalist for this year's Partnership for Public Service’s Sammie awards, for the Management Excellence Medal.

Salesforce.com gets FedRAMP ATO

As the deadline for vendors to qualify for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program looms on June 5, Salesforce.com said it has received authority to operate for both platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service.

The company also announced a "strategic partnership" with Microsoft Corp. aimed at creating new solutions that would connect Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management (CRM) apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While infrastructure providers such as Amazon Web Services have been certified for months, Salesforce is among the first group of suppliers of FedRAMP-certified PaaS and SaaS. The company supplies CRM and other cloud services to a number of federal agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, Securities and Exchange Commission, General Services Administration and the Interior and Health and Human Services Departments.

The administration has set June 5 as the deadline for cloud services in use at federal agencies to meet FedRAMP security requirements. That agency expects a flood of certifications in the coming days.

FCC commissioner complains about slow internal IPv6 transition

Michael O'Rielly, the junior Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, thinks the agency needs to practice what it preaches in its IT shop.

In 2012, the FCC issued a guide for private-sector companies about the importance of making the move to Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) before the supply of old IPv4 addresses became exhausted. At the same time, O'Rielly wrote in a blog post, internal FCC efforts are lagging -- just 12 percent of the agency's web subdomains are IPv6 operational.

"For an agency that just proposed rules and questions that aim to micromanage the way the Internet works, this seems ironic," O'Rielly wrote. The FCC’s fiscal 2015 budget request includes website and IT security upgrades that could potentially include IPv6 transition, but apparently no funds have been budgeted directly for IPv6 transition.

Air Force picks Northrop Grumman software for mission planning

Northrop Grumman will provide the U.S. Air Force with a software system for mission planning in a five-year contract worth up to $98 million, the defense contractor announced June 2.

The software system, dubbed the Global Adaptive Planning Collaborative Information Environment (GAP CIE), is intended to help with contingency and crisis planning at the “combatant commander and strategic level,” and to allow multiple staffs and agencies to collaborate online, Northrop said.

“The GAP CIE is designed for emerging crisis situations, so it's important we automate courses of action tools to let joint operation planners focus on the quality of the information and the plan,” Doug Pachunka, director of strategic command and control at Northrop Grumman Information Systems, said in a statement.

U.S. Navy renews contract with AT&T for 911 calls

AT&T will continue to provide the U.S. Navy with a cloud-based, voice-over-IP 911 call-routing system in a contract worth $10.4 million, the telecom giant told the press June 2. Four AT&T data centers support the routing system from AT&T Government Solutions, the firm’s federally focused business unit.

The call-routing system will integrate with current Navy infrastructure and puts the service “in a pre-eminent place in addressing the 911 enhancements specified in the Fort Hood After Action report,” AT&T Government Solutions President Kay Kapoor said in a statement. That memo, which came in the wake of the November 2009 Fort Hood shootings that killed 13 people, recommended significant upgrades for tracking 911 calls at DOD facilities.

Cyber threat reporting not consistent

Well over half of federal agencies do not adequately document what steps they took when they found evidence of being hacked, according to the Government Accountability Office. According to a May 30 GAO report, 24 federal agencies did not consistently demonstrate they effectively respond to cyber incidents, like a computer or information system breach. Based on a statistical sample of cyber incidents reported in fiscal 2012, GAO projected agencies did not completely document actions taken in response to detected incidents in about 65 percent of cases, with 95 percent confidence that the estimate falls between 58 and 72 percent.

Additionally, the report said the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness has yet to develop result-oriented performance measures, even though the 24 agencies GAO asked said they were generally satisfied with CERT's assistance. GAO urged CERT to develop the performance measures, saying without them it "will face challenges in ensuring it is effectively assisting federal agencies with preparing for and responding to cyber incidents."

AFCEA Bethesda honors achievers

Gina Garza, CIO at the Internal Revenue Service, won the Outstanding Achievement award in the civilian category in AFCEA Bethesda’s seventh annual Government-wide Initiatives Excellence Awards

Garza was honored for her efforts on the IRS IT system, which supports the agency’s role in facilitating the 2010 health care law. The system is expected to accommodate as many as 25 million transactions by 2020.

Terry Halvorsen, acting CIO at the Department of Defense, received the Outstanding Achievement award for defense for his work with the Department of the Navy’s IT program, which produced more than $140 million in savings and laid the foundation for DOD’s Joint Information Environment initiative.

Other winners were:

  • Linda K. Berdine, chief executive officer of BDK group (Outstanding Achievement, Citizen category).
  • Sally Dadjou, public affairs specialist, Department of Health and Human Services (Emerging Leader).
  • Cecilia Coates, director, Office of Program Management and Policy, Department of State (Efficiency and Value Creation).
  • Jack Bates, director, Business Intelligence Service Line, Office of Information and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs (Excellence in Mission).
  • John Edgar, vice president for information technology, U.S. Postal Service (Excellence in Mission).
  • Charles De Sanno, executive director, enterprise infrastructure engineering, Department of Veterans Affairs (Excellence in Technology).
  • Jon Holladay, deputy chief financial officer, Department of Agriculture (Excellence in Technology).
  • Ken O'Brien, chief technology officer, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Department of the Treasury (Innovation).
  • Brenda L. Stevens, Health Artifacts and Images Management Solution Product Lead Data Sharing, Defense Health Agency (Innovation).
  • Adam Sedgewick, senior information technology policy advisor, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce (Security).

The 2014 Federal 100

Get to know the 100 women and men honored this year for going above and beyond in federal IT.

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