FCW Insider: Oct. 11

Top stories, quick hits and more from FCW's reporters and editors.

With just days remaining for vendors submit bids in on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year cloud solicitation, IBM announced it was filing a pre-award protest with the Government Accountability Office. IBM is the second vendor to protest the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure procurement on the basis of its requirements, which it argues are tilted toward a single vendor. Oracle also is protesting the deal. IBM also plans to bid on JEDI, but it appears the company's real plan is to try to extract some change to the requirements that would allow for multiple clouds. Adam Mazmanian explains.

The $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract began life as a telecom upgrade vehicle under the Obama administration, and agencies are playing catch-up as the Trump White House looks to use the vehicle as a full-blown modernization tool. Mark Rockwell sorts through the challenges facing agencies who want to modernize but also need to keep the phones on.

The path to the U.S. Digital Service usually includes a stint in Silicon Valley at a startup or one of the big consumer tech companies like Google or Facebook. But Steve Kelman found one USDSer whose journey to the innovation hub started at a traditional government contractor.

Margaret Weichert, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and now the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, says that workforce issues are stalling progress on IT modernization and the strategic use of government data. Chase Gunter has the story.

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is emerging as a top advocate for the new Army Futures Command. In remarks at the AUSA conference in Washington, Shanahan urged attendees to build momentum for the new command, but also cautioned that proven innovators are needed to make the new enterprise work. Lauren C. Williams reports.

Quick Hits

***The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs signed a joint statement committing their organizations to develop an integrated electronic health care record. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie pledged to "develop a more efficient overall construct and plan of execution" of their respective implementation of the commercial electronic health care record Cerner. DOD started its implementation, led by integrator Leidos, in late 2017. The effort to reach an initial operating capacity has hit more than a few snags that it is in the process of ironing out.

VA is much closer to the beginning of the process. The agency opted to go with Cerner on a sole-source basis in June 2017, but it took until May 2018 for the $10 billion contract to be signed.

Lawmakers have taken notice that while the plan is for VA and DOD records to work together with 100 percent interoperability, there is no single entity or individual charged with being a single point of accountability for making sure that happened. The Interagency Program Office that led efforts to create a read-only platform for exchanging records called the Joint Legacy Viewer doesn't have the authority, budget or staffing to take on the role of enforcer.

While the joint statement doesn't create that single point of accountability that many in Congress were seeking, it does promise an " accountability mechanism that facilitates coordinated decision making and oversight," and an "organizational structure that supports the delivery of a single, seamlessly integrated EHR that maximizes commercial health record interoperability," with "optimally coordinated" workflows and data dictionaries.

*** Amid all the talk of emerging tech and dramatic digital transformation, federal CIO Suzette Kent wants to be sure agencies don’t overlook the basics. "There’s a lot of priorities, but we have to be firmly set on a few things," she said at FCW’s Oct. 10 IT Modernization Summit.

One of those few things is email, Kent said -- stressing that 61 percent of email accounts at federal civilian agencies are now cloud-based.

"A year ago we were less that 30 percent," she said. That shift may not be sexy, but it "drives better cost efficiencies," increases protection against phishing and other threats and "gives us the ability to… leverage collaboration tools," she said.

*** Managed service providers should be paying close attention to talk of supply chain security reforms on Capitol Hill, the General Services Administration's Bill Zielinski said at the same FCW event.

"There are tons of proposals coming from the Hill," he said, noting that Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have drafted one bill, while Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have proposed another.

"While the intent is to protect [agencies] from risks in the supply chain, there are very clear consequences for industry," Zielinski said. "I keep urging anybody and everybody from industry to really pay attention to anything having to do with supply chain risk."

*** Commercial data is helping to power the view of the job market at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Online career websites like Monster and Indeed are bolstering BLS data sources, according to Michael Dalton, a research economist in Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics at the agency. BLS keeps tabs on the job market through its monthly survey of turnover and job openings at 16,000 employers.

"That can be a huge burden on establishments when you ask them repeatedly and ask them over time,” Dalton said.

To mitigate this burden, BLS doesn't ask everything they want to know on every survey. The private sector data can fill in some of those gaps. One caveat is that there is hidden bias in job site data. Individuals who use these platforms have some computer literacy and access to the internet, and employers often maintain job postings continuously for positions that experience high turnover.

"There is a lot of potential to learn things that otherwise would be very difficult to measure," he said.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Oct. 10

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.