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FCW Insider: Jan. 22

Furloughed feds and those working without pay face a second payday without a check, as a bid for wall funding from the Trump White House appears dead on arrival in Congress. With the stalemate likely to continue, one lawmaker is floating the idea of opening the government briefly just to pay federal employees. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers defended the government's policy of indicting hackers linked to foreign governments, even if those charged never see the inside of a courtroom. As Derek B. Johnson explains, "name and shame" is just one piece of the puzzle.

Air Force Undersecretary Matthew Donovan wants to see tech innovation, more cloud and changes to the way active duty IT personnel are deployed in the coming year. Lauren C. Williams has more.

The latest appropriations package being proposed by House Democrats includes funding for the Technology Modernization Fund created by the Modernizing Government Technology Act. Chase Gunter reports.

The ecosystem of connected devices and the proliferation of endpoints represents a growing cybersecurity risk and many in industry worldwide want governments to step up regulation, according to a survey. Get more from Mark Rockwell.

Quick Hits

*** Former Google CEO and current advisor to Google's parent company Alphabet Eric Schmidt will chair the new National Security Commission for Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Defense. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work will be vice chair. The Pentagon announced the news Jan. 18.

The commission was established in the 2019 defense bill, and is charged with assessing the U.S. posture with AI, workforce and education, the technology's risks and ethical implications, and evaluating trends and investment domestically and abroad. Deliverables include an initial report with recommendations on reorganizing federal government activities to support AI research and annual comprehensive reports.

Congress authorized $10 million to be spent on the board through fiscal year 2019. Other members include representatives from leading tech firms, academia and former senior government officials.

*** The General Services Administration is moving ahead with its bid to improve technology at the Federal Acquisition Service with its CIO Modernization and Enterprise Transformation Procurement. Dubbed COMET, the program is an update of an existing requirement to support the IT environment for some of the major FAS functions, including property management, purchase cards and travel.

GSA announced Jan. 18 that responses to an earlier request for information have been reviewed, and that the next step is to develop instructions for vendors who want to get on the COMET blanket purchase agreement. Draft evaluation criteria for prospective offerors will be released, followed by more industry engagement in the form of an industry day and one-on-one meetings with vendors. The update did not include a time frame for the rest of the solicitation.

Posted on Jan 22, 2019 at 12:47 AM


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