Translated by
2019/02/11 10:36:10

IT in a public sector of the USA



2019: Trump signed the order on promotion of AI at the state level

On February 11, 2019 the president USA Donald Trump signed the decree on promotion of artificial intelligence technologies at the state level. Federal governmental bodies will have to select more resources and investments for researches, development and personnel training in the field of AI. About it the news agency Reuters was told in Presidential Administration.

The new decree Trump started the American initiative in the field of artificial intelligence (American AI Initiative). According to it the White House will instruct departments to define priority of investments into AI research and development, to expand access to federal data and models for these researches and also to adapt workers to an era of artificial intelligence.

Donald Trump gave to departments of the order about investment into artificial intelligence
Donald Trump gave to departments of the order about investment into artificial intelligence

According to the representative of Presidential Administration, though any specific financing it is not announced yet, it is already known that the initiative is designed to improve the reporting and to trace expenses on research and development connected with AI.

The new project is directed to that the United States saved the advantages in the field of research and development in AI and adjacent areas, such as new production technologies and quantum computings.

AI is what affects all aspects of life of people — the representative of administration says. — Within this initiative an attempt to gather all under one aegis and to show to the American people the potential of this technology is made.

Earlier in February, 2019 Donald Trump addressed the Congress with the traditional message about a situation in the country and the world. During the performance the head of state noted that he is ready to interact with legislature for new important investments into infrastructure, including into the advanced areas of the future.[1]

2018: U.S. authorities: Computers can do a half of work of officials

About 5% of federal officers of the USA can be replaced with computers — the functions executed by these workers can "be completely automated". Functions of another 60% of government employees can be automated at least on a third. In total about 45% of job duties which are now executed at federal positions by people can be automated.

Such data are provided in "2018 Federal report on priorities in the field of labor resources" (FWPR) which was published in April, 2018 by Management of HR department of the USA. By drawing up the report specialists of department were guided by that level of development of technologies what it was as of 2016.[2]

In the report "Labor resources of the XXI century" which is addition to recently published "Agenda of the president" Management of HR department concretizes that should be undertaken for the purpose of automation of duties of government employees. The report was prepared together with Administrative and budget management of the USA and the Ministry of Defence.

According to the drawn-up plan, from HR department and budget management it is required that by I quarter 2019 they defined and started pilot programs in three spheres where automation can have the greatest influence.

To the second quarter of department should understand how automation will affect government employees and to define a set of skills which it will be required to them in the future. At the same time personnel administration should start the pilot on retraining of workers who will be affected by automation.

From departments it is also required to provide methods of measurement of human resources and acceleration of process of hiring online. Historically it developed so that it is difficult for U.S. Government to attract for work of young employees, including on the positions connected with IT. Many charge it to long process of employment in federal agencies. That to reduce it, personnel administration will have to create the instrument of automation which will help managers to sort requests of applicants. Also the management should construct a system in which digital data about employees will be entered to accelerate their transfer from one department to another.

2017: The White House started talking about IT reform

On December 13, 2017 the administration of U.S. President of Donald Trump stated that the government needs global reform of IT systems and taking measures to gain of data protection and use of cloud services.

Difficulties in resource allocation of state structures for support of upgrade of IT, speed of provision of services and technical issues led to creation of bulky and outdated federal IT infrastructure, said in the report of the White House.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

According to Trump's administration, the American government should eliminate barriers to use of commercial cloud computing. Government institutions should consolidate the investments into IT and increase trust to services and infrastructure which are managed by others.

One unnamed supplier of a cloud service of e-mail agreed to help to trace expenses on transition of the state e-mail system to a cloud. The approximate term of carrying out IT reform — 2018.

According to the report of the Head budget and control department (GAO), investments made by the U.S. Government in IT "are wasted — many structures use outdated programming languages and the equipment which is not supported any more".

The research GAO showed that some authorities use systems with components which are not less than 50 years old.

In April, 2017 Donald Trump signed the order about creation of new technology council for radical processing of the systems of information technologies of the U.S. Government.

In June, 2017 the White House stated that most of 6100 data centers of the government can be consolidated and transferred to cloud storage system.[3]


As U.S. authorities saved $3.6 billion on clouds

In the middle of 2015 in the USA results of the five-year program of optimization of IT expenses in state bodies were published. Due to implementation of cloud computing, several billion dollars were succeeded to save consolidations of data centers and other measures.

As reported in the American Accounts Chamber (U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO), during the period from 2011 to 2014 efforts on reducing costs of information technologies in state agencies provided economy in the amount of $3.6 billion. New costs which managed to be avoided in the course of program execution entered this amount as the value of the reduced expenses within certain projects, and. Annual IT budgets in state structures of the USA are estimated at $80 billion.

Due to implementation of cloud computing, consolidation of data centers and other measures the American state agencies managed to save several billion dollars
Due to implementation of cloud computing, consolidation of data centers and other measures the American state agencies managed to save several billion dollars

One of optimization methods of budgets was strategy "reductions and reinvestments" within which organizations at first reduced expenses on IT approximately by 10%, and then made the saved investments in the IT projects assuming higher economy. Such approach was practiced by 26 departments among which — the Ministry of Defence, the ministry of national security, the Ministry of Finance and Administrations of social security. About 70% of the cut-down expenses thanks to the government program fell to the share of these four structures.

Nearly a half of the cut-down IT costs was provided due to the consolidation of data processing centers assuming closing of some platforms, use of virtualization and analytical tools, consolidation of license agreements, transfer of management of IT systems on Internet platforms and large-scale migration in a cloud.[4]

The USA will facilitate to the young IT companies access to state orders

At the beginning of September, 2015 the Administration of general services (General Services Administration, GSA) which is responsible in the USA for state procurements announced intention to simplify to the young IT companies access to state orders.

GSA made a request for providing information (request for information, RFI), having asked the technology companies to make recommendations about improvement of a federal system in the field of state procurements.

The administration of general services considers the possibility to remove the mandatory requirement to the minimum experience under corporate contracts. By September, 2015 it makes two years, only such IT vendors are allowed to state orders.

The USA wants to simplify to the young IT companies access to state orders
The USA wants to simplify to the young IT companies access to state orders

Those applicants for the state order who work at the market less two-year term can support the qualification by the documents reflecting real experience in area necessary to the customer and the financial responsibility.

It will be possible to abandon the claim to two-year experience only if this measure allows to increase number of the new and developing small companies participating in the state tenders and also the new contractors corresponding to criteria of sales among other indicators, said in a RFI request.

"Having simplified work of suppliers with us, we will be able to offer the government in general better access to the innovative companies, advanced technological solutions and broader spectrum of options", – the employee of GSA Denise Turner Roth wrote in the blog.

GSA will collect opinions of private companies and federal bodies till September 18, 2015. After that the decision on a possibility of easing of requirements for the young IT companies wishing to take part in public contracts will be made.[5]


Federal IT budget for 2013 fiscal year

The U.S. President Barack Obama offered the federal IT budget for 2013 in the amount of $78.9 billion that is 0.7% lower than the IT budget of 2012. As the Chief information officer of Administration of U.S. President Steven VanRoekel commented, the budget for 2013 reflects attempts to make bigger for smaller money. For 2012 financial year the Congress approved the IT budget in the amount of $79.5 billion whereas in 2011 it made $80.2 billion.

Gain the cyber of security and development of the electronic government will become key priorities of IT expenses of the USA in 2013, in particular, methods of interaction of citizens and business with the state agencies, Vanrokel noted. Continuation of the government monitor program in Department of national security will also become one of items of expenditure ($202 million).

Also attention will be paid to return of the state investments into IT. "We should with maniacal eagerness monitor cost reduction and elimination of duplication in management of IT", - Vanrokel said.

The USA was recognized that several years implemented inefficient IT strategy which led to big overexpenditures of budgetary funds. Now IT state procurements reduce from year to year, first of all in the defense industry. 

The U.S. Department of Defense which consumes nearly a half of the state IT budget of the country will be cut down in expenses on information technologies approximately for 2.7% to $1 billion, the Chief information officer of administration of Barack Obama said during the press briefing. As much as possible in 2013 IT budgets of Department of health care and social services, Finance department and Departments for veterans will increase.

For the U.S. Department of Defense program implementation of reduction of the data centers belonging to department remains the key moment: 100 DPCs should be closed in total that will allow to save about $300 million.

The IT budget of Treasury will rise in 2013 $358.7 million which will go for development of technologies which will simplify submission of tax declarations. The department of health care will receive the IT budget for $179 million bigger, than in 2012: they will go for development of IT systems of hospitals and clinics.

Vanrokel also announced the plans for start shortly of three programs which he allows the federal agencies to deepen the IT examination. He will use "IT special troops", special teams of experts which will be engaged in bringing to mind of the most problem IT projects.

2013 financial year begins on October 1, 2012.

The USA hides a failure of IT reforms in a public sector

Attempts of administration of U.S. President of Barack Obama to arrange the state IT systems and to increase efficiency of their work are implemented much more slowly, than was planned earlier.

In May, 2012, according to the director of questions of management of IT of local Accounts Chamber (U.S. Government Accountability Office or GAO) David Powner though the administration also managed to achieve "significant progress" in some aspects, in general the authorities revaluate the achieved results. "Our inspection showed much smaller progress, than was stated", - Powner noted during joint listenings with the relevant subcommittees of the Senate on national security and government questions.

The question of closing of 1000 data processing centers by 2015 assuming including transfer of a number of government IT systems to a cloud remains one of unresolved the government of tasks, for example, still, Pauner noted. Also GOA were analyzed all 10 key purposes of the plan of administration of Obama for upgrade of IT: according to statements of administration, from them it is reached already 7, according to experts of GOA – only 3.

According to David Pauner, there is a number of the problems hindering the fastest achievement of effective objectives. In particular, he carries that circumstance that about 25% of large IT of projects are controlled directly by the U.S. Government to like those, about $13 billion the public expenditures for information technologies are the share of them.

The expert considers that in such situation it is necessary to avoid duplication of expenses with special care, and, besides, to work on further development of federal purchases that will allow to use more actively "modular circuit" when large projects break into smaller fragments. From 7 main IT purposes of the USA for 5 deadlines are still not defined, specifies GAO.

Stephen Vanrokel main on IT in Barack Obama's administration, considers that the difference between governmental estimates of progress of IT of reforms and estimates of GAO is exaggerated. Disagreements between departments concern generally sounded Obama's administration in 2010 the plan of IT of reforms consisting of 25 points. "It is real shock for a system", - Vanrokel says. According to him, on achievement of all 25 points of reform will not be stopped.

2012: Testing of technologies of smart cities

More than 40% of municipal authorities of the USA will be involved in testing of technologies of "smart cities" in 2013, and 50% of localities will implement similar solutions same year, said in the research IDC (December, 2012)[6]

Also, according to forecasts of researchers of this company:

  • Consolidation of government IT infrastructure will reach the pica as most authorities in the USA reached the level of penetration of cloud computing about 50% in 2012, about 7% of expenses of a public sector for IT were the share of cloud computing.

  • Tactical implementations of Big Data technologies will grow in public institutions on average for 30% a year and eventually will allow to create the powerful analytical platform based on which technologies of "the intellectual government" (Smart Government) will develop.

  • The ordinary state agencies and the organizations actively will rationalize the expenses on IT assets and also will show consideration for the choice of end devices (the PC, tablets, smartphones) in terms of their optimal use.

  • Mobile devices and applications, sensors, cloud solutions and also the city portals which are actively involved in state by IT infrastructure will lead to growth of digital data for 48% in 2013 that will create new data assets and will raise questions of their rational use.

  • Exchange of cloud data and solutions of joint work will be used at all government levels (federal, state and local) so on services of data exchange 18% of all market of government cloud solutions is necessary, and it will create absolutely new IT of model.

  • Though the public sector of the USA will remain far behind other industries in investments into social to software, nevertheless 35% of the government organizations of the USA in 2013 will make assessment or implementations of tools of social analytics.

  • At all government levels implementation of mobile applications will accrue. In 2013 35% of new federal and state applications will be mobile, among new applications of like those municipal authorities there will be 45%.

  • More than 40% of the local U.S. Governments will be involved in "smart city" projects at a stage of a research or assessment, and 50% will begin implementation of such projects in 2013.

  • The government organizations which advance open standards in relation to data will have for 25% higher activity in commercial applications that will lead to more effective achievement of a number of the state purposes.

  • State/private partnership in a part of IT will be reviewed in terms of their compliance of the general mission.


Corruption problems in state procurements of the USA

Vivek Kundra, the Chief information officer of administration of the White House of the USA and a key figure of the American IT industry, at a meeting with the leading advisers to the president Barack Obama on science warned colleagues about dangers of open data access and complained of IT cartel and collusion of mega-vendors. He also let know that the U.S. Government needs to reduce the number of the used DPCs.[7]

Kundra whose activity in the U.S. Government comes to the end in the middle of August informed the gathered advisers for science and technologies a set of the alarms concerning information technologies of the federal center. His concern, in particular, is caused by unforeseen effects of sharing of government data where information is integrated and accumulates by such methods which can damage confidentiality and pose security risk.

During an era of Facebook and Twitter when the set of personal data is already available, government information, it is probable "in the past harmless", it can be used for "identification of the persons who are not wishing publicity", Kundra told.

He quite sharply criticized practice of the conclusion of government IT contracts and reported to committee that "we, within federal IT, already almost had an IT cartel" which is made by the "very few companies" receiving benefit at the expense of state orders "because they it is better, than someone, understands process of state procurements". "And it at all not because they provide the best technology", - he noted, speaking about contractors.

According to Kundra, the government knows, "that true informative value is on a joint of its different sources", but he also understands - there can be problems if data issue "actually without thinking of effects for national security". He told, as an example that its office conducted negotiations with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on data which it intends to release, and, without disclosing specifics, was recognized that around these negotiations "there was very rough debate". According to him, use of confidentiality is extremely important.

Cloud strategy

In 2011 federal CIO of the United States Vivek Kundra (Vivek Kundra) provided new state strategy to information technology fields according to which a quarter of the budget of $80 billion in size will be selected for cloud computing.

According to Vivek Kundra, cloud computing will allow to achieve 30% of economy on infrastructure of data centers: 'Cloud computing will allow to simplify work of IT divisions as they should not support the complex, heterogeneous systems any more'. It is not only about economy of finance, but also about an opportunity to involve qualified personnel in more important tasks: 'Focus will be displaced from technologies as such to basic competences of public institution and its main mission'.

The 43-page 'cloud strategy' of the federal U.S. Government consists of 5 sections: the fact-finding section, the guide to decision making in connection with transition to cloud computing, the systematized set of examples of successful use of cloud computing in public sector of the USA, recommendations about increase in efficiency of implementation of cloud computing and the conclusion. At the same time, Vivek Kundra emphasizes that upon transition to cloud computing it is not enough to think only of their advantages: 'Public institutions should weigh risks and attentively consider readiness of commercial or state suppliers for implementation of requirements of federal IT systems'.

According to the document before placing some IT service in a cloud environment, the public institution should provide the sufficient security level on several aspects. Among them there is a compliance to requirements of laws, bylaws and interdepartmental regulating documents; refining of nature of data with the purpose of clarification of the specific requirements for security imposed to data of this kind; ensuring privacy and confidentiality for the purpose of protection against an accidental or malicious information access; ensuring integrity of data, including authorizations, completeness and accuracy; determination of policy of control and data access that allows to decide where data can be placed geographically; organization of adequate data management: suppliers of cloud services should be rather transparent, provide adequate security protections and control and also to give an information access, efficiency of these means, necessary for independent monitoring. Kundra reports that each of organizations of the federal government will have to review the procurement strategy in the field of IT and to include cloud computing in budget process: 'Public institutions will make changes to the IT systems as much as possible to use advantages which cloud computing gives, namely: use of computing resources fully, giving of bigger flexibility to IT systems, increase in return and reduction in cost'.

Closing of the state data centers

The chief specialist on IT in the USA Vivek Kundra said that the federal government will close 137 data centers by the end of 2011, 39 of them is already closed.

The U.S. Department of Defense at the same time manages nearly 40% from those data centers that will be closed. In total by 2015 the government intends to put out of action of 400 data centers.

In number 39 of already closed data centers there are those which ensured functioning as well information systems of NASA, State Department and Department of health care and also social services department. Vivek Kundra reported about it in the blog.

Last week Kundra disclosed big details how the 25-punktny program for upgrade of the state IT infrastructure of the USA moves. Enters it including the subsection concerning consolidation of capacities of data centers.

It also published the map of areas of the country where closings will be made in the blog, also on it their accessory to different departments is designated. The division on already closed data centers and planned to closing until the end of the year is also made.

52 data centers of the Ministry of Defence will be closed within a year: for the American state structures it is the maximum digit. Data center of NASA in the majority are already closed, 14 stand on queue. Mostly they are located in the district Washington.

Departments of an agriculture, justice, power, for veterans and some other are also included in this federal program. According to Kundra, the government also tells a number of transactions of a similar sort with the freed real estate.

For example, one of such data centers in Rockville (Maryland) contained nearly 15 thousand sq.m with 218 racks of the equipment which consumed the electric power for $1.2 million a year. The total useful area of 39 closed data centers is 325 thousand sq.m.

Consolidation is necessary for the USA as during the period since 1998 till present they expanded as mushrooms from 432 to more than 2 thousand. Excess resources and superfluous applications which Kundra compared to weeds were as a result created. A task of present CIO to correct everything.

Earlier it was already announced that IBM will create the "cloud" allowing the allied center of command of NATO to use technologies for more efficient expenditure, simplification of implementation of new technologies and also consolidation of the existing IT resources. It will allow NATO to close 800 operating data centers.

The USA doubled expenses on protection of a state secret

The U.S. Government minus key espionage transactions spent $11.36 billion for protection of confidential data in 2011, said in the report of local management of information security (Information Security Oversight Office, ISOO). This parameter of expenses significantly grew for the last decade: in 2001 it was $4.7 billion.

In the report of ISOO consider expenses of 41 organizations of executive power of the USA, including the U.S. Department of Defense. However he does not turn on the expenses of CIA, Management of the national intelligence, National Security Agency and other organizations connected with espionage process.

Every year ISOO carries out the assessment of the federal agencies regarding how they classify, store and protect confidential data. In particular, expenses on the corresponding personnel, means of physical control and the IT system are considered. Are also included training costs and the salary of those who participate in classification and classification of data in expenses.

Only on classification of data, according to the report of ISOO, in 2011 it was spent for 12% more - $1.2 billion. The biggest increase in expenses was made under the articles connected with IT systems and trainings.

So, expenses on information security of confidential data in 2011 grew by 19% from $5.21 billion in 2010 to $6.8 billion in 2011. The cost of professional training, trainings in this area increased from $102 million in 2010 up to $502 million in 2011.

Increase in expenses was provoked both by the permanent high level of terrorist threat, and the juicy scandals connected with leak of the state data, first of all concerning Wikileaks.

In particular, the U.S. President Barack Obama in October, 2011 issued the decree for federal agencies, having obliged them to implement new measures for access restriction to confidential networks and data. Directives of this sort are accepted with a certain regularity.

See Also

The IT overview in regions of Russia 2015