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FITARA grades hold steady almost a year into pandemic

Despite the challenges of responding to a global pandemic, most federal agencies were able to hold steady with their digital hygiene and compliance with IT reform laws, as measured by the latest iteration of Congress' biannual FITARA Scorecard. Of the 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies evaluated, 16 maintained their grades, three improved them and five saw the drop. "In the midst of a global pandemic, continued reliance on remote work and an unprecedented and highly sophisticated cyberattack by a foreign adversary, the importance of federal agencies’ effective use of IT is too great to ignore," said Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who chairs the panel that compiles the scorecard. Dave Nyczepir has the story.

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COVID-19 relief bill has money for health data sharing

As part of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress Monday night, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology would receive $62.4 million in fiscal 2021 to develop and advance interoperable systems. Efforts to track the coronavirus' spread have been hampered by a lack of interoperability between federal and state and local public health department, laboratory and care provider systems. Public health experts say those problems must be fixed so they don’t linger during future pandemics. Dave has this too.

Select Committee to Modernize Congress to return

The Select Committee to Modernize Congress will be back for the next term of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the committee will continue on in the 117th Congress, beginning next month and running through 2023. The committee, set up to help modernize Congress, including updating its IT, was initially only approved for work in the 116th Congress. More from Jackson Barnett.

Keeping track of who's involved in the SolarWinds hack

The SolarWinds hack has put agencies at risk of being surveilled or having data stolen for up to nine months, as users of the software who updated between March and June inadvertently added malware into their networks. Since early December, the list of confirmed and potential victims within the federal government continues to grow. FedScoop has a recap of the agencies involved and will continue to update it as more information is announced. Sara Wilson has the recap.

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