Data mining:

U.S. drops to fifth in IT

The United States fell a couple of notches from third to fifth place in the World Economic Forum's information technology rankings. The forum assesses the extent to which countries use IT to promote growth and development, and its evaluation includes business environment, regulations and infrastructure.

Here are the latest rankings:

  1. Sweden
  2. Singapore
  3. Denmark
  4. Switzerland
  5. United States
  6. Finland
  7. Canada
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Netherlands
  10. Norway

Source: World Economic Forum

Recovery Act taxes agency staffs

In a recent survey, compared to their smaller counterparts, more large agencies involved with overseeing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending said their staffing was inadequate. The Commerce Department conducted the survey to gauge whether the agencies charged with awarding and administering stimulus law-funded contracts have the necessary number of qualified, trained professionals to handle the work. The large agencies were the Defense, Health and Human Services, and Interior departments.

Large agencies involved with recovery act work:
Staffing is adequate: 14 percent
Staffing is adequate, but new demands affect other work: 45 percent
Staffing is inadequate: 41 percent

Other agencies involved with recovery act work:
Staffing is adequate: 24 percent
Staffing is adequate, but new demands affect other work: 52 percent
Staffing is inadequate: 24 percent

Source: Commerce Department

Agencies Struggle to Keep Pace With Private-Sector Tech

Many federal decision-makers say they lag behind the private sector when it comes to adopting new technology. Research firm Market Connections surveyed 223 people in government information technology roles — 39 percent employed at military agencies and 61 percent at federal civilian or independent agencies.

Here are some of their responses:

  • My agency is perpetually behind the technology curve compared with the private sector: 45 percent.
  • Old legislation negatively affects my agency's adoption of new technologies: 39 percent.
  • Our performance management efforts are well aligned with administration priorities: 32 percent.
  • My agency is prepared for the information technology challenges it will face in the next two years: 26 percent.
  • Acquisition reforms will negatively affect my agency's adoption of emerging technologies: 24 percent.
  • My agency is perpetually behind the technology curve compared with other federal agencies: 24 percent.
  • Innovative or emerging technology is more often disruptive than productive to my agency: 22 percent.
Source: Market Connections

About the Author

Stephen Weigand is the graphics reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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