News in Brief

Disruptive defense tech, IC transparency, GSA's newest BPAs and a $427M bid protest

Shutterstock image.

DIA readies disruptive tech platform

The Defense Intelligence Agency on June 25 demonstrated a nearly finished web platform meant to speed acquisition of “disruptive” technologies, Defense Systems reports.

The Open Innovation Gateway emulates DIA’s operational environment and will be used by the agency to fast-track promising technologies. Industry users and intelligence analysts will supply and test secure technologies through the gateway.

According to a DIA spokesperson, technologies already tested in the gateway include a high-speed geospatial data processor, a facial recognition service, and a big data analytics platform.

DNI releases first 'transparency report' on surveillance

The U.S. intelligence community on June 27 released its first annual "transparency report" on surveillance tools used in the previous calendar year.

The report, posted to the director of national intelligence's "IC on the Record" Tumblr site, shows that 1,767 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders were granted in 2013 based on probable cause, among other statistics.

The DNI report is an indirect response to the troves of documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, which revealed the agency's vast intelligence-collection capabilities. President Barack Obama last year directed the IC to declassify more intelligence documents in the name of transparency.

The report is "a step in the right direction of increasing trust in both government and Internet services," Richard Salgado, a legal expert at Google, wrote in a blog post. But he said more information on the targets of surveillance orders is needed.

Oracle files early protest on $427M DOD contract

Washington Technology reports that Oracle Corp. has filed a pre-award protest of a contract to provide the Defense Department with on-demand storage infrastructure services.

The contract, known as Enterprise Storage Services II, is in the source selection phase, and the incumbent contractor is VION Corp. The Defense Information Systems Agency cannot make an award on the contract while the protest if pending; the Government Accountability office has until Oct. 3 to make its ruling.

Data-wrangling as a service

GCN reports on NuData Enterprise -- a new cloud-based open data hosting and servicing platform designed to help governments comply with open data mandates and help developers build businesses based on government data.

NuData is the first product to be offered by NuCivic in partnership with Acquia, which provides an open cloud platform for Drupal-powered sites, and Carahsoft, a government IT solutions provider. NuData differentiates itself by being based on the Drupal content management system, which many governments already run, and is available for self-hosting on an open-source platform or as a turnkey data publishing solution.

GSA, FCC look to help schools save on IT

The General Services Administration and the Federal Communications Commission are working to build blanket purchase agreements to allow schools and libraries to get bulk savings on network gear.

According to a June 27 GSA blog post by Erville Koehler, regional commissioner of the agency's Southeast Sunbelt Region, GSA signed an agreement with the FCC on June 19 to develop opportunities for schools and libraries to save on the purchase of wireless access points, routers, and other equipment needed to modernize and expand their network infrastructures. GSA has used similar tools to buy wireless communications services and gear for government agencies.

Koehler said GSA is working with the FCC under GSA's Cooperative Purchasing Program, administered by its National Information Technology Commodity Program for the benefit of E-rate eligible schools and libraries. Once implemented, he said, the new BPAs would allow schools and libraries to utilize the agency's reverse auction platform to seek bids from equipment vendors at prices even better than those already available under the relevant GSA schedule.

Koehler said the FCC-GSA E-rate initiative is expected to be available next year.

DHS allots $95 million for cyber technologies

The Department of Homeland Security has allotted an estimated $95 million for cybersecurity R&D in recognition of the growing sophistication of cyber threats. The Broad Agency Announcement, which first published in April and has been added to in recent days, lists an array of cyber-technology areas that interest DHS, including the cloud, mobile devices, “application security threat attack modeling,” and defenses against distributed denial of service attacks.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group