Quick Hits

*** Deloitte's Combiz Abdolrahmini, who has also worked for the Departments of Homeland Security, Treasury and State, won ACT-IAC's 2019 Ginny McCormick Award on Oct. 21. Abdolrahmini, who was an FCW Rising Star in 2018, was recognized by ACT-IAC for his wide-ranging work to encourage collaboration in the federal IT community.

Also honored at ACT-IAC's Imagine Nation conference in Philadelphia as outstanding individual contributors were Department of Energy Chief Information Security Officer Steven Hernandez and ASRC Vice President of Information Security and Chief Information Security Officer Darren Death.

*** Auditors are teaming up with the U.S. Digital Service to examine how effectively the U.S. Census Bureau is protecting IT systems that support the 2020 population count. In an Oct. 17 letter to Census Director Steven Dillingham, Assistant Inspector General Frederick Meny announced that his office has entered into a memorandum of understanding with USDS to assist in the audit, which will begin immediately.

*** Former Economic Research Services data scientist Andrew Crane-Droesch writes in a Washington Post op-ed that the move of the agency from Washington, D.C., to the Kansas City region was done because Trump administration officials, in particular Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, wanted employees to quit. "They didn’t like it when our research was at odds with the administration’s narratives," Crane-Droesch states. He notes that just 39 of 180 employees offered relocation agreed to move and that two-thirds of the positions at ERS are vacant.

"At ERS … I was one of very few people in government who knew how to apply machine learning tools to problems of agriculture and climate change, and I had colleagues who had honed even more arcane backgrounds and skill-sets," he said. "Now, the public will lose the targeted expertise we developed on their behalf.

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