FCW Insider: Aug. 26

News, analysis and other updates from FCW's reporters and editors.

The first 30 entrants in the federal government's Cyber Reskilling Academy finished their coursework in July. To go by two graduates from the first cohort, the program will imbue feds with new and relevant skills but won't necessarily create candidates for unfilled cyber defense analyst positions. Even so, Federal CIO Suzette Kent says she's "thrilled" with the program so far and wants to expand it. Adam Mazmanian has more.

The General Services Administration is the government's hub of acquisition, so the agency's IG has a few questions about why GSA is buying tech from NASA's big IT contract. Mark Rockwell reports.

Two senior lawmakers want the Bureau of Land Management to halt its plan to relocate its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado. Adam explains why Dems are pushing back on BLM's relocation plan.

Quick Hits

*** Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to give federal workers the right to strike. The candidate's "workplace democracy" plan promises to change federal labor practices to give feds the right to strike to match workplace rights in the private sector. Sanders is also pledging to sign the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act of 2019, a bill introduced in June by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai'i). That bill extends public sector unionization to states that currently do not allow state and municipal workers to organize and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.

*** More than 1400 Google employees signed a letter posted on Medium to try to convince the company not to bid on a cloud solicitation put out in July by Customs and Border Protection. The Google employees are concerned that their product will be used to in support of the Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants and illegal border crossing, including family separation at the border and long-term detention for many migrants. "The winning cloud provider will be streamlining CBP's infrastructure and facilitating its human rights abuses," the letter states.

*** A new ProPublica story takes aim at the increasingly cozy relationship between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon. Readers who have followed developments in the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud procurement will be familiar with most of the story, but ProPublica unearthed some interesting details from a whistleblower, including a plan to add Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to the prestigious Defense Innovation Board before his clearance was ready and that a rank-and-file DOD employee tasked with working on the DIB was blocked from probing unusual travel arrangements that benefited board members including former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Aug. 23

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