News Feature | November 21, 2013

Government IT News For VARs — November 21, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


This week’s news includes new approaches to procurement, sobering statistics from a survey of government cybersecurity professionals, and the pros and cons of body-worn cameras for law enforcement.

Agencies Are Finding Efficient Procurement Procedures

Technology procurement requires government agencies to take a different approach than a traditional request for proposal (RFP). In addition, technological advances are enabling government agencies to find better procurement procedures. Government Technology highlights five new tech-related approaches, including trials before purchasing, software that organizes the procurement process, and a service that provides a database of purchasing information.

Cybersecurity Professionals Consider Government Agencies Vulnerable

Fed Tech magazine shares an infographic that includes 11 cybersecurity statistics about the federal government from a MeriTalk survey. One cybersecurity professional says, “The security of our defenses is probed daily for weaknesses.” Of those surveyed, 50 percent say their agency is likely to be the target of a denial-of-service attack in the next year.

Body-Worn Cameras Have Pros And Cons For Law Enforcement

The latest issue of TechBeat magazine focuses on the future of body-worn cameras for law enforcement. Although cameras could protect officers from false accusations, reduce complaints, and provide evidence, some pilot tests led police not to use the devices . Depending on the placement on the officer’s uniform, video might not capture the scene from the proper perspective. Inadequate battery life was also an issue. The article references the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) publication, “A Primer on Body-Worn Cameras For Law Enforcement.”

Public-Safety Apps To Be Discussed At APCO Forum

The APCO (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials) Emerging Technology Forum is planned for Dec. 3-4, 2013 in Boston. Public safety apps will be a key topic discussed at the forum. APCO hosts a public safety app website ( and has released its guidelines for app development, “Key Attributes of Effective Apps for Public Safety and Emergency Response.”

MIT Initiative Examines Big Data Issues

The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) is studying the use and management of Big Data. One project related to the Big Data Initiative focuses on transportation in Boston. Researchers are using taxi travel patterns to develop new prediction algorithms and visualizations. The initiative is also launching a Big Data and privacy working group. MIT announced these projects in conjunction with the White House’s “Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships” event. For more on the event, see Data Informed and FCW coverage.