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FCW Insider: Sept. 25

The White House is giving federal cloud policy a refresh. Federal CIO Suzette Kent announced the new "cloud smart" policy as a kind of 2.0 iteration on the Obama administration's "cloud first" effort.

The Obama effort was akin to a starter cloud policy, crafted when "cloud computing was still new," Kent told reporters at a Sept. 24 briefing.

The new policy was announced with a draft document on the CIO.gov website and a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment.

As Chase Gunter reported for FCW, the administration is looking to accelerate cloud adoption by driving procurement reforms, adapting cybersecurity strategies developed for on-premise networks to work with cloud systems, and strengthening workforce skills in needed areas.

Whose fault was this year's embarrassing Tax Day outage that afflicted IRS e-filing systems? An inspector general report found plenty of blame to go around, but dinged contractors in particular for failing to keep pace with contractual requirements for addressing system failures and outages. In one case, the IG recommended that the IRS seek damages from a contractor to compensate for missing performance requirements. Derek B. Johnson has the story.

Back in August, Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen said new laws were needed to give law enforcement the authority to bring down threatening drones. Congress is poised to give DHS and the Justice Department such authority in the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. But civil libertarians are warning that law enforcement agencies could use the power to bring down just about any drone they wanted to. Mark Rockwell explains.

The Defense Innovation Unit just got a new leader to go with its new name. Lauren C. Williams has the news.

Quick Hits

***What can blockchain do for government? Quite a lot, blockchain vendors are hoping. A new report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government offers takeaways from a series of roundtable meetings hosted by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Policymakers and stakeholders are looking to distributed ledger solutions in digital identity, payments and supply chain verification.

***The Department of Veterans Affairs selected VertX Enterprise Solutions for a $7 million contract to support the design, development, testing and delivery of APIs. The Sept. 21 award is one more step on a path to opening VA data to developers to build applications that range across agency services, from health care to benefits to education and job training.

***Vendors have a few extra days to bid for the Defense Department's $10 billion single-source cloud contract. A new amendment updating the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure request for proposals gives vendors until Oct. 12, but proposals landing on the final day must be submitted on DVD and delivered in person by noon. Emailed proposals still have a deadline of Oct. 10 at 5 p.m.

***Should we welcome our new robot overlords? Tune in on Tuesday, when the IT Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee releases its report "Rise of the Machines, Artificial Intelligence and its Growing Impact on U.S. Policy," offering lessons from recent congressional oversight of artificial intelligence, and watch FCW for coverage of policy recommendations.

***The Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center is contributing to the election cybersecurity conversation with a lexicon that provides a common language when discussing cyber threats. Cyber Threats to Elections Lexicon draws on CTIIC's experience in increasing interagency awareness and information sharing during previous cyber event, including those to elections.

Posted on Sep 25, 2018 at 3:00 AM


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