FCW Insider: October 15, 2021

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

How GSA is implementing the contractor vaccination mandate

The agency's Federal Acquisition Service and Public Building Service are using automated tools to send out contract modifications "by the thousands," to add the vaccination mandate, said one agency official. FAS started issuing mass modifications on Oct. 8 and they're currently issuing about 3,000 modifications per day.

Army CIO sets out to revamp IT policy

Army CIO Raj Iyer wants to overhaul IT policy so it doesn't stand in the way of the services' goal to become more technologically agile.

Comment: The CISO reporting structure is broken

The commitment to managing cyber risk is a primary concern, but is often consolidated with IT priorities. This creates a conflict – does IT or security come out on top?

ICYMI: Is category management hurting small businesses?

Small business owners testified on Capitol Hill about getting squeezed by category management and contract bundling initiatives.

Quick Hits

*** Deployment of the Army's Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been delayed until September 2022. The Program Executive Office Soldier, which oversees the technology, issued a statement Thursday noting that the operational testing for IVAS is now scheduled for May 2022 with fielding to come four months later. Testing is expected to continue throughout fiscal 2022; the augmented reality system underwent an adversarial electronic warfare and cybersecurity test in September, according to PEO Soldier. IVAS made national news earlier this year after Microsoft inked a $22 billion deal with the Army to produce more than 120,000 augmented reality headsets.

*** The U.S. Navy announced that active-duty personnel have until November 28 to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face discharge. Sailors in the selected reserve have until December 28 to get vaccinated. Even sailors who qualify for exemptions to the vaccine mandate can be reassigned, "based on operational readiness or mission requirements." Enlisted personnel and officers separated from the service for non-compliance may have their service characterized as "general (under honorable conditions)" rather than the more favorable honorable discharge.

*** A request for information issued Thursday on behalf of the Chief Data Officers Council seeks input on the council's efforts around data sharing and inventory, workforce development and ethics and equity, in addition to its overall mission and other key focus areas. The document requests insights on what makes an effective data team, and whether there are existing skills training programs that can be used to foster talent. It also asks whether the current Federal Data Strategy framework released in 2019 sufficiently addresses "concerns about the vulnerability of certain populations," or if it needs to "evolve to address racial equity and support for underserved communities."

Ted Kaouk, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief data officer and chair of the CDO Council, encouraged the public to engage with the RFI at a public meeting on Thursday.

*** Erie Meyer was named chief technologist at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Meyer served at CFPB during its launch and as a founding member of its Office of Technology and Innovation team. She also served on the U.S. Digital Service launch team and was most recently a technology advisor at the Federal Trade Commission.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: October 14, 2021

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