News in Brief

CFPB's complaint database, FCC's IBM cloud and Graves' promotion

Shutterstock image (by wavebreakmedia): doors opening to data streams.

CFPB publishes consumer stories on complaint database

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published a trove of more than 7,700 stories from consumers about their hassles and hardships dealing with aggressive debt collectors, mortgage scams, hidden fees on loans and other financial complaints -- all on a public facing website.

The searchable database allows users to read complaints, with personally identifiable information stripped out, that have been registered with the CFPB. The database first went live in June 2012, and has been expanded several times since with new datasets. The recent update is the first time the data includes actual stories from consumers.

The data is searchable so that consumers who are considering filing complaint of their own can look at how the agency handles comparable situations. The update was accompanied by a request for information on how the consumer agency could present its data to make it more comprehensible and useful to the public.

FCC taps IBM for cloud

The Federal Communications Commission is turning to IBM for cloud computing services. The agency granted authorities to operate to IBM SoftLayer data centers in Ashburn, Va., and Richardson, Texas.

The FCC is in the midst of a rethink of its data storage strategy. Under CIO David Bray, the FCC is planning to move more than 200 servers from its Washington, D.C., headquarters as it looks to downscale its real estate footprint.

Moving data and systems to the cloud is part of a long-planned IT modernization strategy from the FCC -- and one that has run into trouble on Capitol Hill as Republicans look for ways to hobble the agency through the appropriations process as a way of expressing displeasure about the Open Internet order that makes net neutrality the law of the land. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program ATO means that other agencies can consider the IBM data centers without having to go through a lengthy approval process.

Graves gets promotion at DHS

Current Department of Homeland Security Deputy CIO Margie Graves will become the agency's principal deputy CIO.

Graves' promotion was announced in an internal email from DHS CIO Luke McCormack. The change is part of what McCormack called a "sweeping" reorganization that is coming to the department's Office of the CIO.

McCormack also wrote about the change in a blog post on, noting that Graves "has a wealth of institutional knowledge and the skills and expertise to lead the organization through the changes that are coming." In the newly expanded role, he wrote, Graves will be responsible for strategy and governance, service broker and catalogue management, vendor management, business management operations, solutions design and engineering, information sharing, and cybersecurity.

A DHS spokesman confirmed Graves' promotion and the restructuring in an email to FCW, but did not provide details of the restructuring.

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