News in Brief

Big money for agile, FCC's big move, NSF funding for ecodata and Interior's new look

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Air Force awards $490M agile contract

What it takes to do agile at government scale is a recurring question in federal IT circles. For the Air Force's Agile Acquisition program, the answer apparently is $490 million and 22 vendors.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, which is expected to run through August 2020, was announced by the Pentagon on Aug. 20. The work is based at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and the announcement notes that 22 companies -- 13 of them small businesses -- bid on the contract.

FCC preps for big IT move

It's time to lift and shift at the Federal Communications Commission.

The tech and telecom regulator is planning to pile its servers into trucks sometime around Labor Day and haul them from its Washington, D.C., headquarters to a new facility in West Virginia.

The move is a big step in a plan by CIO David Bray to virtualize the agency's computing by putting 207 systems into the cloud or a hosted provider.

The agency is warning users of its online docketing system and other public-facing websites that FCC databases will be off-line Sept. 2 through Sept. 7. Filing deadlines are being extended to accommodate the move.

The goal is to have FCC systems up and running again by 8 a.m. on Sept. 8.

NSF funds nationwide ecosystem data projects

The National Science Foundation is pumping $4.8 million into 19 projects aimed at better connecting scientists with a nation-spanning ecosystem observation network, the agency announced Aug. 20.

The projects, led by university researchers around the country, will use data generated by the NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network. Projects include collaborative workshops and investigations of specific phenomena, including a look at how species are responding to California's record-breaking drought.

"These awards will encourage the community to think creatively about how to use the early science capabilities of NEON and leverage NEON data more broadly," said James Olds, assistant director of NSF's Biological Sciences Directorate, in a statement.

Interior's Drupalized debut

The Interior Department launched a new Drupal-powered website this week, more than a year after the agency began consolidating its nine content management systems into one open-source, cloud-hosted CMS.

The new look puts Interior's majestic images front and center -- a change noted by the General Services Administration's 18F in an Aug. 21 congratulatory tweet:

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