FCW Insider: Nov. 14

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

Congress appears poised to pass a continuing resolution funding the government through Dec. 20 to avoid a Nov. 22 government shutdown. Top appropriators in the House and the Senate expressed hope that lawmakers could wrap up fiscal year 2020 funding legislation before the second stopgap measure expires. Adam Mazmanian has more.

Despite criticism from lawmakers including Sens Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio and Jeanne Shaheen, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board affirmed a move to invest in an index fund that includes Chinese state-owned companies. Lia Russell reports.

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will mark up  legislation Nov. 14 that would mandate new research into voting machine cybersecurity vulnerabilities and update the way the government certifies such equipment. Derek B. Johnson explains.

The Senate confirmed Chad Wolf as undersecretary for the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security by a 54-41 vote largely on partly lines. That move clears the way for him to take over as acting head of DHS. Adam takes a look.

Even though another federal government shutdown might not be in the cards, contractors shouldn’t be complacent, according to the Professional Services Council. Mark Rockwell shares their advice for vendors on federal contracts.

Quick Hits

*** Customs and Border Protection officials offered  more detail about the goals of their $1.8 billion agile software contract with CACI. Border Enforcement Applications for Government Leading-Edge Information Technology (BEAGLE) will inject agile software development into IT across CBP's components, including development, maintenance and enhancements for Border Patrol CBP’s Air and Marine Operations software applications, an agency spokesperson said in a Nov. 13 email to FCW. The contract, quietly awarded earlier this months, is the successor to its 2013 Border Enforcement Management Systems vehicle.

*** The Office of Personnel Management is tapping its partnership with the General Services Administration's Centers of Excellence program to modernize two legacy applications: the Federal Annuity Claims Expert System desktop app that helps Office of Personnel Management staffers adjudicate retirement claims and the associated OPM Calculator app. The contracts are being opened only to vendors on GSA's Alliant 2 contract vehicle.

*** The Senate Commerce Committee advanced a bill to improve the cybersecurity workforce in part through opportunities for federal service. The HACKED Act, short for Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act, expands existing cybersecurity education programs sponsored federal agencies including NASA, NIST and the National Science Foundation.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Nov. 13

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