FCW Insider: Dec. 10

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

House Democrats have been backing a revival of the Office of Technology Assessment, a congressional tech consultancy that was shuttered in the days of Newt Gingrich's speakership. Now that Democrats control the House, can the OTA make a comeback? Chase Gunter takes a look.

Anil Cheriyan, a tech executive with CIO experience at a major financial institution, was tapped to lead the Technology Transformation Services innovation shop at the General Services Administration beginning next year. Cheriyan is currently chairman of the Technology Business Management Council, a private-sector group that is contributing thought leadership on IT buying to the federal space. Mark Rockwell has more.

After losing out in a Government Accountability Office bid protest, Oracle is taking its case against the Pentagon's proposed $10 billion, 10-year cloud infrastructure deal to federal court. Adam Mazmanian reports.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants the Office of Special Counsel to rescind a memorandum cautioning feds against "resistance" and impeachment talk in the workplace. Chase has the story.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) called for a new "whole of society" cyber doctrine designed to combat modern threats from hackers and disinformation campaigns. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Quick Hits

*** The Office of Personnel Management is keeping pace with retirement claims among feds, according a recent data release. The inventory, or backlog, of retirement claims is diminishing, while the percentage of claims processed in 60 days or fewer has been holding steady for about 10 months. Retirement rates have been bouncing around throughout 2018, with a peak of 14,590 in January. A little less than half that number put in papers in November, when 7,510 submitted retirement claims. So far for calendar 2018, just over 97,000 federal employees submitted retirement claims.

*** The IRS updated a solicitation issued in June of this year for an artificial intelligence machine based analytical platform to specify use cases relevant to the tax agency. After months of market research, the IRS says it is looking to machine learning to probe patterns of "application-specific" financial data, to detect data leakage and to check for encrypted communications, to prevent bot attacks by focusing on the predictable behavior of human users rather than focusing on known bot signatures and to try to preempt attack by reading social media signals.

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