Author Archive

Natalie Alms

Staff Writer

Natalie Alms
Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering federal technology policy, service delivery, customer experience and the government's tech workforce. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.
Cloud & Infrastructure

Labor Department's approach to modular UI tech for states evolves

An ongoing pilot with the U.S. Digital Service, Arkansas and New Jersey is working through challenges related to identity verification.

Emerging Tech

Concerns grow over AI in hiring processes

Automated tech -- including artificial intelligence for job recruiting, interviewing and hiring -- may discriminate against qualified job-seekers, government officials warn.

Data & Analytics

Feds to update standards on race and ethnicity data collection

New minimum standards will ensure the government can compare race and ethnicity data across agencies and understand how well federal programs serve a diverse nation.

Data & Analytics

Agencies are still wrangling over death data

Information about deaths is a key part of administering programs like Social Security, but how data is collected and shared comes with questions.

Cybersecurity

Cross-agency group explores next steps for identity verification

The group's new report and simulation tool will help officials identify trade-off considerations for different identity solutions and frameworks.

Data & Analytics

Watchdog says that racial and ethnic gaps remain in CDC's COVID-19 data

Centers for Disease Control data on race and ethnicity about COVID-19 is sometimes "missing, inconsistent or inaccurate," an inspector general report says.

Data & Analytics

Bad data and old tech limit COVID exposure tracking on flights

The system CDC uses to gather and share data on air passengers is outdated, making it hard to provide the information state and local public health authorities need for contact tracing.

Cloud & Infrastructure

States need to invest in unemployment systems, Labor secretary tells Congress

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh spoke with lawmakers about a week after the Government Accountability Office added the unemployment program to its high risk list of poorly performing government programs.

Data & Analytics

Tapping workforce data to promote employment equity

The Department of Labor's three-year data strategy will help focus resources on the vulnerable and promote equity, drawing lessons from a pilot using state-level on unemployment.

Emerging Tech

Rampant ID theft targets pandemic benefits, watchdogs say

Cross-checking data and implementing validation methods for digital identity verification – like mobile driver's licenses – could help secure state systems, officials said.

Emerging Tech

Why you need your boss's boss to embrace agile

It's not usually the tech that's the difficult part of user experience work, but rather getting senior leaders to help clear organizational roadblocks.

Data & Analytics

GAO tags unemployment insurance as 'high risk'

The government watchdog says more than $78 billion in improper unemployment insurance payments were made in fiscal year 2021, and cited fraud, poor customer service, inequitable access, legacy tech and staffing shortages as key drivers of failure.

Data & Analytics

USDA launches outreach project for key nutrition program

The WIC program struggles with participation and retention rates, but a new push is afoot to identify eligible recipients.

Data & Analytics

Postal Service should 'act swiftly' to scale up identity services, IG says

USPS is working with the General Services Administration on more in-person options for Login.gov, according to a new whitepaper from the U.S. Postal Service's Inspector General.

Emerging Tech

AI compounds discrimination against disabled

Organizations are responsible for ensuring their hiring and performance management tools do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities, federal civil rights officials say.

Cybersecurity

ICE's 'surveillance dragnet' built with DMV photos, report says

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has used facial recognition to search through the driver's license photos of one in three adults in the U.S., according to a new report by Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy and Technology.

Data & Analytics

Measuring the administrative burden of government programs

Current measures of customer experience don't include the learning, compliance or psychological costs people face when applying for government services.

State & Local

Senate Dems seek full UI administration funding

Decades of underfunding unemployment insurance programs has left state agencies understaffed, saddled with old tech and vulnerable to fraud, lawmakers said.

State & Local

USDA opens grants to streamline SNAP

Grants to state and local governments are designed to improve customer experience, streamline operations and expand enrollment to underserved populations.

Data & Analytics

Labor Dept. pilot taps state data for a new look at who is getting UI

Data on access to unemployment insurance broken down by demographics can help program administrators make sure that they help everyone entitled to the benefit access it, the Labor Department says.