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FCW Insider: March 5

President Trump picked a former chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority to take over as the federal government's top human resources official. If confirmed, Dale Cabaniss will replace acting Office of Personnel Management director Margaret Weichert. Adam Mazmanian reports.

The first round of a pilot program to retrain federal employees for cybersecurity jobs drew approximately 1,500 applicants, mostly at the middle levels of the general pay schedule. But interest from agencies is needed to drive long-term success in the Cyber Reskilling Academy. Derek B. Johnson explains.

Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy said getting rid of and modernizing legacy systems is a key focus for 2020. The move is part of an overall effort to keep the Army's program budget as flat as possible. Lauren C. Williams has more.

States have made some progress getting rid of obsolete and paperless voting systems in favor of technology that leaves a post-election audit trail. But the voting security concerns in 2020 could still look a lot like 2016, according to a new report. Derek has the story.

Quick Hits

*** Jake Taylor was named to head a new effort at the Office of Science and Technology Policy charged with implementing quantum policy. Taylor, who began at OSTP in December 2017, is a fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on detail to the White House. The National Quantum Initiative Act passed in December jumpstarts quantum research at a price of more than $1 billion over 10 years, and provided the impetus for OSTP to charter the new office.

*** The General Services Administration to consolidate all CIO policies in a single place at the agency, making them easier to reference, as well as ending requirements to print and distribute price lists for its schedule contracts, according to a Feb. 28 blog post by Jeff Koses, the agency's senior procurement executive in the Office of Government-wide Policy. The move is part of a larger effort to respond to industry input on outdated rules and regulations.

*** The White House is concerned with Silicon Valley's reluctance to work with the Department of Defense on emerging tech capabilities and wants to mend the relationship. Employees at Microsoft and Google have protested company involvement with DOD programs, citing ethical concerns.

"It is incumbent on the department to share with the world, the tech community, and the American citizens the way we are going to be conducting warfare," Michael Kratsios, White House deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, said Feb. 28 during a Center for a New American Security event in Washington, D.C.

The White House and the DOD each released AI strategies in February. The Defense Innovation Board is currently working on a set of ethical principles for AI.

*** The Office of Personnel Management is looking for a helping hand in modernizing its financial systems. Its current Trust Funds Federal Financial System is more than 30 years old, but handles more than $1 trillion in combined assets of federal retirement, health benefits, and life insurance programs.

In a recent contracting notice, the personnel agency states the current system is inefficient, and wants a news system to automate processes, reduce manual effort and human errors, as well as increase efficiency.

Posted on Mar 05, 2019 at 12:50 AM


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