FCW Insider: Dec. 13

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

Lawmakers on the House IT subcommittee that oversees FITARA implementation were pleased with progress on a biannual scorecard, but irked by lagging CIO authorities at some agencies. Chase Gunter has more.

The General Services Administration is building an e-commerce platform for federal acquisition as required under the FY2018 defense bill. A pilot is expected by the end of 2019, and GSA is consulting with stakeholders to put policies in place to ensure it can operate alongside the rest of the agency's acquisition apparatus. Mark Rockwell reports.

The plot keeps thickening in the Defense Department's JEDI cloud saga. The Government Accountability Office dismissed a protest from IBM about the procurement in deference to an ongoing lawsuit from Oracle in the Court of Federal Claims. Amazon Web Services, meanwhile, moved to intervene in the action as a defendant, because of its own equities in the case. Adam Mazmanian explains.

On Capitol Hill, DOD CIO Dana Deasy explained the big plans for data and artificial intelligence that are behind the accelerated move to the cloud. Get more from Lauren C. Williams.

The Department of Justice is gearing up to build an extensive identity and access management portfolio for employees and contractors over the next three years. Derek B. Johnson has the story.

Quick Hits

*** It's not the return of the Office of Technology Assessment, but Congress is getting some impressive technologist staff support. TechCongress' new class of Congressional Innovation Fellows includes experts in identity management, advanced analytics, user experience and software design. The majority also have previous government experience, ranging from 18F to the Navy SEALs.

There are eight fellows in the 2019 class -- which, according to TechCongress, outnumbers the full-time congressional staff who have "formal technical training." The fellows will be embedded in legislators' personal offices, committee staffs or legislative support agencies like the Congressional Budget Office.

*** The IDEA Act is headed for President Donald Trump's desk after the Senate approved the House-passed version without amendment.

Officially known as the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, the legislation would set minimum usability and security standards for federal websites, and push agencies to -- as the House sponsors, Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) put it -- "meet the public's needs with a few simple clicks online rather than drawn out phone calls or in-person visits." For more on the IDEA Act, see Khanna's October interview with FCW.

*** Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) plans to introduce legislation this week to set standards for the federal government to follow when purchasing internet of things devices. The bill creates security requirements that eliminate hard-coded passwords and require updatable software and firmware in IOT devices. The bill it is similar to legislation introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act, but narrows the IOT device definition to exclude laptops and smartphones.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Dec. 12

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