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FCW Insider: April 8

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned unexpectedly on April 7 after a late afternoon meeting with President Donald Trump. She'll stay on the job through April 10, and will be replaced on an acting basis by Customs and Border Patrol head Kevin McAleenan. Nielsen was the first DHS leader with a professional background in cybersecurity. Mark Rockwell looks at what her departure means for the agency

Activity appears to be picking up on the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract. Mark reports that at least three big federal agencies are set to announce deals via the GSA-managed contract vehicle.

The Department of Health and Human Services is teaming up with the U.S. Digital Service to hire for IT roles to advance health care modernization. Chase Gunter has more.

A long and drawn-out procurement -- including four rounds of protests and multiple federal lawsuits -- means the incumbent contractor charged with maintaining a key piece of the Affordable Care Act infrastructure gets another year on the job. Adam Mazmanian explains.

Quick Hits

*** Former Federal Emergency Management Agency CIO Adrian Gardner retired from the federal government, FCW confirmed. Gardner also resigned from the board of the Association for Federal Information Resource Management. In an email to that organization obtained by FCW, Gardner said he had decided to pursue opportunities outside government.

Garder, who was a Fed 100 award winner in 2018 for his work directing FEMA's "survivable communications" strategy, was reassigned last spring as Executive Director of Recovery Communications Technology in the Caribbean Area Division. Earlier in 2018, FEMA's inspector general released a management alert alleging that Gardner misled auditors about the agency's IT management.

Federal News Network first reported the move.

*** A third court has struck down the Trump administration's plan to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 Census.

Federal District Court Judge George Hazel ruled April 5 that the question violates both the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as the Constitution, "by unreasonably compromising the distributive accuracy of the Census."

The Supreme Court is set to hear the case April 23 with three lower courts having found the question’s addition illegal.

The question could have significant implications for the cost and accuracy of the count. Census officials have said they need a final answer about whether or not the question can appear on the decennial questionnaire by the end of June.

Posted on Apr 08, 2019 at 6:36 AM


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