News in Brief

Navy NextGen RFI, cyber acquisition and more

Navy releases RFI for $3.4 billion NGEN recompete

The Navy has finally released the request for information and kicked off the recompete process for the $3.4 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network, Washington Technology reports.

The RFI is the first in a series of outreach efforts the Navy has planned. Officials have promised to release a second RFI by the end of the year and are planning industry days in November and February, though the RFI doesn't include dates for them.

Navy officials also said they intend to create several opportunities for industry to review and comment on draft procurement documents through mid-2016.

Responses to the RFI are due by Oct. 19.

Navy CIO updates template for cyber acquisition

Navy Department CIO Rob Foster has issued updated guidance for Navy components to comply with cybersecurity-related acquisition requirements.

Under the draft Cybersecurity Strategy template and instructions, Navy personnel must provide a thorough rundown of their programs' cybersecurity, including details on risk management and technical implementation.

"Describe your process for selecting overlays, adding security controls, identifying compensating security controls and identifying security controls," the document states. Furthermore, officials must update the documentation for each program milestone.

FCC names Scarpelli to public network cyber group

The Federal Communications Commission has appointed Brian Scarpelli, director of government affairs at the Telecommunications Industry Association, to co-lead an advisory group that is working to make the U.S. public communications network more secure from cyberattack.

The Secure Hardware and Software – Security by Design Working Group falls under the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council.

The council is responsible for making recommendations to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler about voluntary best practices for network equipment manufacturers to ensure that the nation's communications network is more secure, resilient and defendable from cyberattacks.

IRS catches most fraud, still faces tech troubles

A computer programming error and lax procedure-following contributed to millions in misallocated money during the 2015 tax season, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released Sept. 21.

TIGTA found that the IRS denied $1.5 million in valid residential energy tax credits while paying more than $100 million in fraudulent refunds. The agency did manage to block payment of $787 million in fraudulent refunds, TIGTA's report notes.

The report's findings on customer service mirrored a July report from the National Taxpayer Advocate, which states that the IRS answered a mere 37.6 percent of taxpayer calls and only after an average 23-minute wait.

The latest report is yet another mixed review of the tax season that saw the "Get Transcript" application enable wide-scale exfiltration of personally identifiable information.

The IRS agreed with TIGTA's recommendations to revise programming to prevent one bank account from receiving more than three direct deposits and to reexamine some instances of denied tax credits.

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