FCW Insider: March 27

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

IT modernization is an established priority for the Trump administration, so acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought had some pointed questions to answer as he testified Tuesday on proposed cuts to OMB's Information Technology Oversight and Reform account.   House appropriators also took issue with the White House's federal pay freeze and proposed benefit changes.  Chase Gunter has the hearing details

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was also on the Hill Tuesday.   Cybersecurity programs represent only a sliver of the Department of Defense's $750 billion budget request, but Shanahan told the House Armed Services Committee such investments are "fundamental" to DOD's broader security efforts.  Lauren C. Williams was there, and has more on the "digital arms race."

The administration's FY 2020 budget also seeks to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and cut the the Department of Energy's funding by 11 percent overall, but Energy Secretary Rick Parry testified that the commitment to supercomputing and emerging tech remains unchanged.  Mark Rockwell explains.

The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program continues to evolve, and Program Manager Kevin Cox sketched the two-year roadmap at a March 26 conference.   Derek Johnson reports on the outlook for CDM's new risk scoring algorithm, shared service offering for smaller agencies and more.

The 30th Annual Federal 100 Awards are Thursday, and this year's winners made their mark on cybersecurity, IT acquisition, IT modernization and more.  Check out all 100 profiles here.

Quick Hits

*** Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in an internal email that Stuart McGuigan is joining State as its CIO and head of Information Resources Management.

"Every aspect of the department's information technology capabilities and operations now falls under Stuart's oversight, including architecture, infrastructure, cybersecurity, data management, software and application development and application," Pompeo said in his all-staff email.

McGuigan joins State from Johnson & Johnson, where he was company CIO for seven years, managing IT strategy and delivery for 130,000 employees worldwide, according to State's deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino, who shared the news in a March 26 briefing.

McGuigan joined State on March 25. He replaces acting CIO Karen Mummaw, a career employee who has led IRM since December 2017. Mummaw is retiring after a 31-year career in the federal government.

*** The White House has nominated Gen. John Raymond to head the planned U.S. Space Command, the Defense Department announced in a March 26 news release. SpaceCom's launch is designed to accelerate space capabilities and systems and address impending threats to infrastructure and operations. Raymond, who currently heads Air Force Space Command, would keep that position, taking on a dual-hatted role if confirmed.

*** The House Committee on Oversight and Reform took up a slate of bills aimed at boosting ethics and oversight protections amid a Trump administration mired in apparent conflicts of interest and ethics investigations of current and former members.

The first, the Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act, introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), would give teeth to the Office of Government Ethics by providing its director subpoena power. Discussion on the bill was extended and divided along party lines, with Republicans objecting and offering amendments that were voted down.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) introduced a bill that would require presidential transition teams to submit ethics plans to Congress that include any individuals for whom a security clearance was requested.

Cummings introduced another bill that would codify the prohibition of federal agencies and contractors’ requesting criminal record information of job applicants before they give a conditional offer.

The Inspector General Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), would require the president to report to Congress about inspector general posts that remain vacant for more than 210 days.

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