FCW Insider: March 13

The latest news, analysis and other updates from FCW's reporters and editors.

The General Services Administration is planning to field a new contract to accelerate the White House-backed Centers of Excellence for agencies looking to move to the cloud, improve customer experience and modernize business processes. Mark Rockwell has more.

The Department of Homeland Security is increasingly using compulsory directives to spur federal agencies on cybersecurity improvements, but cyber enforcers are learning that success isn't built out of carrots and sticks. Derek B. Johnson goes deep on binding operational directive policy.

A new House of Representatives committee focused on modernizing technology and processes in the legislative branch heard input from more than 30 lawmakers on updating Congress. While some advocates of modernizing Congress want to see a revival of the legislative Office of Technology Assessment, such a move isn't on the panel's immediate to-do list. Chase Gunter reports.

Quick Hits

*** MHS Genesis, the unified, Department of Defense electronic health records system based on Cerner's software, will expand in fiscal year 2020 to new sites including the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton in southern California, Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, Fort Carson in Colorado Springs and other sites. The rollout follows the initial deployments at sites in the Pacific Northwest.

The Department of Defense is in the midst of a $5.3 billion, multiyear rollout of the new system. Early reports on the system were not favorable, with struggles in areas of usability and cybersecurity. DOD is also facing the additional challenge of building a Cerner implementation plan, including data architecture and clinical workflows, alongside the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is launching its own Cerner system.

According to the Defense Department's budget request, 2020 updates to MHS Genesis will include "expanded analytics and data modeling; decision-support, integrated patient level accounting and billing functionality, and advanced prognostic competencies."

*** In order to have a qualified cybersecurity workforce, the federal government first needs to do a better job of tracking what positions are needed, according to the Government Accountability Office. About 1 in 5 IT management positions at agencies reviewed by GAO were mischaracterized and assigned a "non-IT" work role code. GAO took a closer look at the work role codes of six agencies — the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, and NASA — and found more than half of a random sample were inconsistent with the roles' position descriptions.

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