News in Brief

Rung closer to confirmation, 18F commits to open source and more

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Anne Rung awaits a vote by the full Senate on her nomination to be administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget.

Rung wins committee approval for OFPP post

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved by voice vote July 30 the nomination of Anne Rung to be administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget.

Rung has been at OMB since late May acting as a senior adviser and waiting out the confirmation process. She appeared before the committee July 24, where she laid out her agenda as OFPP administrator.

The post has been vacant since January, when Joe Jordan left for the private sector.

Rung had been at the General Services Administration for the past two years, where she worked as the chief acquisition officer from May 2012 to June 2013, when she was named associate administrator for the Office of Government-wide Policy at GSA.

She came to GSA from the Commerce Department, where she was the senior director for administration. Prior to that, she served as deputy secretary for administration and procurement for the state of Pennsylvania.

McDonald takes over at Veterans Affairs

The Senate unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald on July 29 to be the next secretary or Veterans Affairs. McDonald breezed through the confirmation process with bipartisan support for his pledge to restore accountability to an agency plagued by a large backlog for veterans' health care claims. In a July 22 confirmation hearing, he said expanding "the use of digital technology to free human resources" at the VA is one way of addressing that backlog.

18F makes working openly the standard

The General Services Administration's 18F says it is all in on open source code.

In a blog post, GSA's Raphael Majma and Eric Mill committed to using "free and open source software" in 18F projects, creating an environment where projects can be developed in the open, and publishing all source code it creates or modifies.

FOSS allows for product customization and improved interoperability between products, according to Majma and Mill.

"Citizen and consumer needs can change rapidly," the blog post said. "FOSS allows us to modify software iteratively and to quickly change or experiment as needed."

Working in the open can also create cost-savings for the government, while subjecting the code to a more intensive review process, according to the post.

"Developing in the open, when appropriate, opens the project up to that review process earlier and allows for discussions to guide the direction of a product's development," Majma and Mill wrote. "This creates a distinct advantage over proprietary software that undergoes a less diverse review and provides 18F with an opportunity to engage our stakeholders in ways that strengthen our work."

The office expects to publish in the next few days a contributors' guide for the reuse and sharing of 18F code.

A new job for Ted Davies

Ted Davies is the new CEO of Altamira Technologies Corporation -- a firm created last year from the union of Invertix Corp. and Near Infinity Corp. Washington Technology reports that Davies joins Altamira immediately following a six-year term as the president of Unisys Federal, where he exhibited strengths in "out of the box leadership and a commitment to customer missions and personnel development." He is tasked with advancing Altamira's efforts in cloud computing, data analytics, data security and open source software.

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Reader comments

Fri, Aug 1, 2014 Peter

18F is a digital services agency based within the United States' General Services Administration. The group makes digital products for government organizations and uses lean startup methods, open source code, and contemporary programming languages. Had to look up this strange bureaucratic label that most readers may not know.

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