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FCW Insider: Oct. 16

A significant number of agencies and domains won't meet an Oct. 16 deadline set by DHS to implement an anti-spoofing email protocol called DMAC, but cybersecurity firms are still praising the federal government's progress in combatting spoofing attacks. Derek B. Johnson has the story.

Requesters tasked the U.S. with an estimated 1 million FOIA requests for fiscal year 2018 – a record. Getting a request in the front door is easier than ever, but generating responses is still a grind. Are agencies rising to the challenge? Melanie Pustay, the Justice Department's point person on FOIA, talked to FCW's Chase Gunter about advances in technology and enduring pain points in the open government law.

Company and U.S. officials say the mega-merger of contractors Harris and L3 won't significantly impact the $50 billion federal Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract. Harris is a vendor on EIS, and the coming $33 billion linkup doesn't change much. But across the government technology and defense space, the creation of a "sixth prime" is a big deal, and more evidence that integrators are looking for opportunities outside of enterprise IT and in mission-oriented environments. Ross Wilkers lays out the big picture in Washington Technology. Mark Rockwell looks at the EIS implications for FCW.

A group identifying itself as "Employees of Microsoft" wants the tech giant to forego bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud procurement and recommit itself to "ethical AI." The effort comes as Microsoft signaled that it was likely to bid on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, a 10-year, single-source deal designed to provide cloud and advanced computing capabilities to the warfighter in the field. Adam Mazmanian explains.

Quick Hits

*** When Department of Defense CIO Dana Deasy spoke at ACT-IAC's ELC conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 15, he argued attendees to make a concerted effort to show those outside the federal space how fulfilling public service can be. And he revealed that it was former federal CIO Tony Scott who planted that seed with him.

Soon after he became federal CIO, Scott asked Deasy -- then at J.P. Morgan -- to host "14 or 15 government CIOs" for a day of discussions. Those talks, Deasy said, "gave me a chance to truly see the commitment and passion of these leaders serving in government [and] gave me a chance to learn about the complexity and scale of the problems they were trying to solve. ... I remember going home and telling my wife, 'I wish there was something I could do to help them.'"

In early 2018, Deasy, newly retired, got that chance when Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approached him about the DOD CIO job, It didn’t take much for Shanahan and Defense Secretary James Mattis to convince, him, Deasy said: "I suck at retirement, obviously."

*** Tony Scott will be on hand at the ELC conference at 9:45 a.m. today to discuss the findings of a survey by ACT-IAC and Meritalk called Reimagining Government IT. While almost all feds report feeling the momentum shift toward modernization, numbers slide when it comes to believing that money will follow public commitment. Only about 20 percent of feds in finance, IT and procurement believe their agencies will see upticks in spending of 10 percent or more over the coming year. Just 28 percent of feds are confident that employees are being trained for the future state of IT. And feds typically think the 80/20 legacy/modernization split in funding isn't going to change anytime soon. Still, per the survey, more than half of feds think the shift in momentum toward modernization is "significant," and the recent cybersecurity executive order, federal cloud first policy (recently superseded by new doctrine) and the Managing Government Technology Act and FITARA have been key drivers of modernization.

*** Department of Homeland Security Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa won ACT-IAC's 2018 Education Award for Government for her work with both industry and government acquisition professionals, and particularly for her advocacy of DHS' Procurement Innovation Lab. Macro Solutions’ Todd Hager won the group’s Education Award for Industry for his work with ACT-IAC’s Emerging Technology Community of Interest.

*** In non-ELC news, the Defense Information Systems Agency is prepping a solicitation for secret and top-secret mobile devices, device management, services and support. In an Oct. 15 draft, DISA outlined its requirements and expectations for classified mobile devices. Per the draft, participation will be limited to about 50 trusted integrators in the Commercial Solutions for Classified program run by the National Security Agency.

Posted on Oct 16, 2018 at 12:55 AM


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