IT/Web: June 2013 Archives

NTRS News: The NASA Technical Reports Server has received an update!, NASA

"The update provided:

- A new fresh, clean look for users
- Enhanced record display that shows author affiliations, sponsorship, and document type
- A new Search History display that lists all searches conducted during a search session, and allows users to quickly recall a previous search for display or further refinement
- Ability to search organization names from the advanced search form
- Ability to flag multiple records of interest from a search-results display, and create a new set containing the flagged items
"

"On May 8, 2013, the NTRS was brought back on-line for public access, reloaded with the validated 966,460 documents and metadata records. A small subset of approximately 248,000 documents, largely consisting of older documents, such as National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics materials, remain to be reviewed and will not be restored to public access until a thorough review is completed."

Marc's note: While the site has been updated and as Keith had previously mentioned, there are still approximate 248,000 older records that still need to be brought back online. The June 15th update makes no mention on how the review is progressing. We will update you as soon as we know more.

NASA taps long-time employee to be new CIO, Federal News Radio

"NASA tapped a long-time employee from the field to become its new chief information officer. Government sources confirmed that Larry Sweet is moving to NASA headquarters from the Johnson Space Center.

Sweet replaces Linda Cureton, who retired in April. Richard Keegan, the associate deputy administrator, has been the acting CIO since Cureton retired.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful. Larry is a strategist and understands the culture of the agency as a center CIO," said Cureton, who now is president of Muse Technologies. "He will likely focus on increasing collaboration among the centers. In addition, he will be tough on instilling accountability and performance excellence in the contractor community. Enterprise services will be his high priority."

Related: NASA OIG IT Report Highlights Governance Problems

NASA's Information Technology Governance, NASA OIG

"The decentralized nature of NASA's operations and its longstanding culture of autonomy hinder the Agency's ability to implement effective IT governance. The Agency CIO has limited visibility and control over a majority of the Agency's IT investments, operates in an organizational structure that marginalizes the authority of the position, and cannot enforce security measures across NASA's computer networks. Moreover, the current IT governance structure is overly complex and does not function effectively. As a result, Agency managers tend to rely on informal relationships rather than formalized business processes when making IT-related decisions. While other Federal agencies are moving toward a centralized IT structure under which a senior manager has ultimate decision authority over IT budgets and resources, NASA continues to operate under a decentralized model that relegates decision making about critical IT issues to numerous individuals across the Agency, leaving such decisions outside the purview of the NASA CIO. As a result, NASA's current IT governance model weakens accountability and does not ensure that IT assets across the Agency are cost effective and secure."

Marc's note: There is no simple solution to this as long as the centers continue to butt heads with HQ and as long as NASA's CIO only controls a fraction of the IT budget with the centers controlling the majority.


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