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FCW Insider: Jan. 24

While lawmakers and the White House traded barbs and remained deadlocked over the month-long government shutdown, protesting feds, union leaders and supporters flooded a Senate office building. Chase Gunter was there.

The government is looking to modernize and streamline the technology it uses for the processing and servicing of the $1.4 trillion loan portfolio guaranteed by the Education Department's Federal Student Aid office -– but it's taking a while. Adam Mazmanian reports.

A new U.S. strategy document calls for the U.S. intelligence community to boost cyber threat intelligence sharing and augment data collection and analysis capabilities. Derek B. Johnson reports.

What's driving federal IT in 2019? Mike Maiorana, senior vice president of Public Sector for Verizon Enterprise Solutions says in an FCW commentary that disruptive technologies, customer experience, security are coming to the fore in the federal IT landscape.

Quick Hits

*** The General Services Administration published a second round of advice for agencies on migrating to GSA's $50 billion next-generation telecommunications contract.

The inventory of telecom services and facilities from expiring contracts is huge, said the bulletin, which advised agencies to make sure they have a complete inventory of what they want to move to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, as well as to map that inventory to their EIS bid solicitations. GSA shared details on current providers of facilities and services, and advised agencies to track their inventory, solicitations and task orders against their overall project implementation plans to keep things organized.

It also advised agency contracting officers not to forget a copy of their GSA-issued Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) letter when releasing solicitations to EIS contractors. Contractors that don't get the DPA letter with a solicitation have been advised to notify their agency contracting officers.

*** The Army is looking to the Government Accountability Office to get on board with the agile practices of its new Army Futures Command.

James A. Faist, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities, wrote in reply comments to a largely positive GAO report that one recommendation didn't take the AFC's game plan into account. The recommendation asked AFC to demonstrate technology "in an operational environment prior to starting system development."

"The AFC and the Army, at the behest of Congress, are trying to break the linearity of the modernization process," Faist wrote. "As is, this same linearity is implied in Recommendation 1."

GAO declined to alter the recommendation.

"We understand the Department's desire for flexibility, but continue to believe that reaching higher levels of technological maturity, through demonstrating technologies in an operational environment prior to beginning system development adds significant value by reducing risk; something that could help the Army deliver capabilities it believes are urgently needed," wrote Jon Ludwigson, the acting director for contracting and national security acquisitions.

AFC, with headquarters in Austin, Texas, is expected to be fully operational by July. The command is charged with leading the Army's most pressing modernization goals, including developing mobile networks capable of operating in contested environments and creating "future vertical lift" platforms to support manned and unmanned missions.

*** The Congressional Budget Office said Jan. 23 that it was delaying the release of a report listing the expiration of legislative authorizations of federal programs and activities, pending the passage of a full slate of appropriations bills. The move comes at the request of House and Senate Budget committees.

Posted on Jan 24, 2019 at 7:23 PM


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