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FCW Insider: Jan. 14

The partial government shutdown entered day 23 with no end in sight. Feds on furlough or working without pay didn't hear much encouraging news from politicians over the weekend. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

An internet security company identified expired security certificates on .gov websites -- the certs hadn't been renewed during the shutdown. While the lapse won't impact government data security, it does pose potential risks for users accessing the sites. Mark Rockwell explains.

The shutdown is taking a toll on essential federal programs, including air traffic control and safety, and because of the shutdown key IT programs linked to transportation safety are stalled. Chase Gunter reports.

The manager of the National Institute of Health's governmentwide acquisition contracting vehicles says federal customers will have to rush to meet fiscal 2019 purchasing deadlines after the shutdown. Mark has more.

The Army's acquisition organization is still working out its IT strategy, but it has laser focus on weaving artificial intelligence into the force. Lauren C. Williams reports on how the service is prepping to embrace AI.

Quick Hits

*** The National Treasury Employees Union is seeking an injunction to block a potential push to bring IRS employees back to work from furlough to process tax returns. The NTEU argues that the section of the anti-deficiency act relied on by the administration to declare some feds as essential or excepted is "flatly unconstitutional" because it conflicts with the constitutional authority of Congress to appropriate funds.

NTEU is bringing the case because of its belief that as many as 45,000 IRS employees will be recalled from furlough to work without pay during the shutdown. According to the declaration of Kenneth Moffett, NTEU's director of negotiations, this will take place, "even though their jobs do not entail protecting human life or property (let alone human life or property facing an imminent threat)." Moffett also states that the order of IRS workers to report is "imminent."

Judge Richard Leon declined a request by the administration to reschedule the hearing. Despite this, the hearing won't take place as scheduled on Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. ET, because the court is closed because of inclimate weather. There's no word yet on when the injunction hearing will take place.

*** The Marine Corps Systems Command is seeking industry advice on application rationalization as it looks to shut down several on-premise data centers and migrate those operations to a commercial cloud environment. In a request for information posted Jan. 7, the command asks for details on firms' approaches to application discovery and rationalization, as well as the "cost and timeline associated with refactoring applications."

The sources-sought notice suggests the Marine Corps is open to infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service solutions, and is particularly interested in microservices to replace or complement the existing applications. It also specifically mentions "big data service development in the cloud," and asks about companies' experience with migrating to FedRAMP-certified cloud providers. Responses are due Jan. 23.

*** In the Washington, D.C., area, federal offices not already shuttered by the partial government shutdown will be closed on Jan. 14 because of the snow. The Office of Personnel Management announced the closure late on Jan. 13. Emergency and teleworking personnel (who are not furloughed) are expected to continue working.

Posted on Jan 14, 2019 at 12:47 AM


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